By: Sue Wilkinson, Senior Director, Information Service & Research, Food Marketing Institute

My weekly trip to the grocery store, usually early on Sunday morning, often makes me wonder about my grocery shopping habits compared to the shopping trends I study and analyze from FMI's 2017 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report. I found myself in comparison mode while participating in the Food Retail Implications for U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017 webinar, which shared insights on the state of the marketplace, and shoppers' attitudes towards food safety and health and wellness.

Here are some top-level findings:


  • Grocery shopping remains a national pastime with 78 percent of all U.S. adults stating they have at least 50 percent of the household responsibility for grocery shopping (Compared to 83 percent in 2015).
  • Average Weekly Trips to the supermarket remained flat at 1.5 trips per week.
  • The co-shopping trend remained consistent with last year. Twenty-two percent of shoppers report equal sharing of shopping duties between partners. Among families practicing co-shopping, men increasingly assign themselves to the primary shopper role.
  • Shoppers with No Primary Store continue to shop multiple channels, distributing their grocery dollars across at least three channels each month.
  • While shoppers continue to shop for groceries beyond their traditional supermarket, this year's report found that nearly half (43 percent) of Millennials say they shop online for groceries at least occasionally (up by 50 percent relative to 2016). As stated in the Trends report, “This is as large a year to year change as FMI is ever likely to see in an annual tracking study. Millennials appear finally to have moved from curiosity to comfort with this channel.”

Food Safety

  • 95 percent of U.S. shoppers trust their grocery stores to ensure that the food they purchase is safe, but they are also increasingly reliant on government institutions to do the same.
  • 87 percent of U.S. shoppers are mostly or “completely CONFIDENT the food in [their] grocery store is safe.” Shoppers are most concerned with risks associated with mishandling or malice.
  • 66 percent of consumers follow up on food recalls by checking their food supplies at home.
  • In the past year, 15 percent of shoppers say they have stopped purchasing certain products because of safety concerns. Some of these concerns are related to specific recalls, while others stem from a concern about the methods used in producing food.

Health & Wellness

  • Consumers continue to see their primary store as an ally in their wellness.  The majority (45 percent) consider their “primary” store as helping to keep them healthy.
  • 78 percent of consumers are concerned about the nutritional content of the food they eat, with the top concern identified as “concern about my health in general” (54 percent).
  • Health claims shoppers seek on food packages fall into six buckets: avoid negatives (65 percent); minimal processing (59 percent); good fiber (41 percent); ethical practices (25 percent); positive nutrition (25 percent); and heart health (23 percent).
  • 63 percent of households consider eating meals at home with family to be very important...and substantially more important for families with kids. (85 percent households with kids vs. 55 percent households without kids)
  • 67 percent of households with kids outsource cooking to the grocery store at least some of the time (vs. 44 percent of households without kids)

Maybe I'm not using online ordering for my grocery purchases (yet), but you can bet that I'm not the only person in my household doing the grocery shopping, which occurs in multiple formats. Food safety is of utmost importance as is the nutritional content of the food I buy for my family.  Now if we could just figure out how to enjoy one more meal at home each week with food from the grocery store.

To learn more about the 2017 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, listen to the webinar and download the full report.