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U.S. food shopping behavior - statistics & facts

In times of economic hardship consumers can easily cut back on many unnecessary purchases but food will never be one of these, which explains why the grocery industry has retained its status as a booming sector. In 2019, the average household in America spent a little over eight thousand dollars a year on food, a figure which has grown steadily in the past few years. In that year, the majority of U.S. consumers primarily purchased groceries at a supermarket or a supercenter, like Walmart and made one or more shopping trips per week.

Stores and buying decisions

It is more likely than not that consumers visited the aforementioned Walmart for their shopping trip as almost 60 percent of those who are responsible for a shopping have shopped at the retailer. The next most frequented store was Aldi. In store, close to two thirds of consumers use self-checkout lanes to speed up their checkout. Over half try to avoid peak hours to achieve the same effect and a third of consumers shop at different locations. Most shoppers consider the taste of food products to be the deciding factor in their purchase decision while close to 30 percent are guided by item prices first.

Online shopping

Due to the pandemic online, food and beverage e-commerce revenue in the U.S. saw a huge increase compared to 2019, with an estimated 15 billion U.S. dollars for 2020. The penetration of online sales is forecast to amount to close to four percent in the food and beverage industry for 2020. In the early phase of the pandemic, Amazon was the most frequented retailer. However, compared to the pre-pandemic market its market share, and the share of the other market leaders, had declined. Home delivery via standard shipping is the most popular delivery method among returning shoppers, while a curbside pick-up is preferred by first time shoppers. Canned food products were a highly popular choice for online shoppers, even before the coronavirus outbreak.


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