Four Supermarket Shopper Trends for 2017

As they head into 2017, are consumer brands thinking about how their product offerings contribute to grocery shoppers’ positive experiences?


New research finds that the “experiential factor” is driving today’s grocery store shoppers, who are seeking positive culinary experiences; making deliberate decisions from the store to the stove, including wanting to feel good about the food they eat; have pride in the brands they buy; and share their cooking journeys online.


That research was revealed in the 13th edition of The Why? Behind the Buy from Acosta, a full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry. The study details the choices and behaviors of grocery shoppers as they look to enhance how they purchase and consume food.


From online ordering and a desire to explore new foods, to natural products and socially responsible brands, consumers are now in the driver's seat when it comes to steering the CPG industry in a new direction, the study concludes. With this evolution predicted to continue in the coming year, the onus is on the industry to adapt by leaning into the trends and building trust and loyalty among all shoppers, according too Acosta


This year's study explores four key factors contributing to this experiential evolution of grocery shoppers:


Evolving loyalty and trust

Shoppers are loyal to their stores and selective about the brands they buy, wanting to feel a personal connection as part of the overall experience.

  • Nine in 10 shoppers are shopping most often at the same grocery retailers as last year.

  • Seventy-seven percent are buying the same grocery brands as last year.

  • Fifty-four percent enjoy the experience of shopping for ingredients to prepare the meals they have planned.

  • Thirty-seven percent of shoppers want their grocery brands to be transparent about their ingredients, processing or production.

  • Forty-six percent want their grocery brands to be trustworthy.

  • Thirty-five percent buy grocery brands that are socially responsible.

The digital influence

As the intersection of brick-and-mortar retail and the digital marketplace continues to expand, shoppers have access to more products, promotions and grocery solutions at their fingertips than ever before.

  • Sixty-one percent of shoppers have redeemed digital/mobile coupons for grocery items in the past month.

  • Fifty-nine percent of shoppers who have e-commerce grocery options available to them have ordered products online in the last year.

  • Fifty-three percent of all shoppers get recipe ideas online.

  • Nineteen percent of shoppers — and twenty-five percent of shoppers with children — have posted food or recipe content to social media.

The growing natural/organics category

Spending on healthy products, including natural/organic offerings, has grown steadily in the last several years, driven by the desire among shoppers to feel good about the foods they’re eating.

  • Forty-five percent of shoppers eat healthy foods even though they are more expensive.

  • Thirty-eight percent agree, "I often buy natural/organic products because I know they are better for me."

  • On a typical store trip, 39 percent of the items in the shopping carts of Millennials were organic; among total U.S. shoppers, the total was just over 25 percent.

  • Twenty-six percent of Millennials usually stay on the store perimeter — in the produce, meat and dairy sections — and only visit select center-store aisles during stock-up trips.

Cooking as an experience, not a chore

Many shoppers enjoy the experience of planning and creating meals at home.

  • Fifty-six percent of shoppers enjoy the experience of planning meals for their households.

  • Sixty percent enjoy preparing new dishes.

  • Fifty-four percent often check out new items in the grocery store.

  • Forty-five percent of Millennial shoppers want to take cooking classes to learn how to prepare new meals and dishes.

The latest edition of the The Why? Behind the Buy is based on research conducted with a nationally representative random sample of U.S. shoppers via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst online survey methodology. To access the full report, click on the attachment below.