By Lucas Darnell, Director of Member Relations and Advocacy for Eastern U.S., Food Marketing Institute
I previously blogged about how food retailers see the emergence of online grocery shopping as a compliment to their in-store operations, which represents the way our industry is constantly evolving. It’s true we’re in a time where everything seems to change by the hour, but I believe a mainstay of the American household is still the grocery store.
According to FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018 report, brick and mortar grocery stores, the signature channel in the food industry, have stabilize their status despite consumers’ use of other channels. Trends claims, “Consumers do shop across channels and banners, but still recognize the supermarket’s central role in meeting and defining their grocery shopping needs.”
In addition, grocery spending and shopping trips remain steady. Shoppers report spending an average of $109 per week, which is consistent with years past. Despite in-roads made by online grocery shopping, the average shopper reports approximately 1.5 shopping trips to a brick-and-mortar grocery retailer per week. This is consistent with the trend of the past six years. In fact, those who shop online are actually taking more trips (1.6) to a brick-and-mortar grocery retailer per week.
Professionally, my job takes me across the eastern United States visiting FMI members and touring their stores. One week I might be in a small town in West Virginia where the local store is one of the main employers in town. The next week, I might be touring a new flagship store of one of our larger members. While the grocery world expands and offers more options, the data shows that the good ol’ grocery store is alive and well, and with all the hours I log in grocery stores I can attest to that being true.