By: Angelyn Pinter, Senior Manager, Education Development, Food Marketing Institute 

Picture37One of the most fascinating parts of analyzing data is when you start to notice an intersection point. According to 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, 84% of households with kids want to eat more meals at home together or prepare more meals at home. Trends also reports shoppers focus on the needs and desires of individuals who make up the family.  As we've learned, the average shopper shops 3.1 channels and 4.4 banners in a given month. 

What does it look like when all of these trends intersect? It looks like a month in the life of FMI’s Carol Abel, who manages a single-shopper household with a varying grocery list. In one month, Carol shopped at five different grocery stores with four different shopping scenarios involving her college-student daughter, Gen Z and Millennial sons, and extended family. She provides her insights below: 

When it’s just me:

“As an empty nester, I don’t shop on price anymore, because I don’t buy that much.  I value convenience above all else. Now that I’m not feeding so many mouths, I like limited assortment stores to find food treasures.  It’s also easier to get in and out,” said Abel. “I like the produce prices and that it’s a little bit of a discovery shopping mission.  One of the local supermarkets has a great cheese counter, so I’ll visit for that.  I like the experience, there is usually a person who will answer your questions. They also have a good seafood counter, very clean.”

“Overall, when it’s just me, I totally wing it.”

But, when it’s me, my daughter and sons:

“When my sons are home, I buy for a family.  I buy snacks and meats and plenty of other items. When the kids are home, I need to buy more, so I become more cost-conscious. I might combine limited assortment and supermarkets, because I can’t get everything at a limited assortment store," explained Abel.   

"When they were younger, I would plan for the week, shop on price and plan ahead of time.”  

When it’s me and my daughter:

Abel said, “My daughter doesn’t eat meat, so I buy more fruits, vegetables and cheese. When it’s just me and my daughter, I text her to see what she’s hungry for and stop on the way home to get it. I shop at multiple places based on conveniences, specialty ingredients or if we’re looking for a new culinary adventure." 

"When I shop for one or two people, price is much less relevant." 

When it’s extended family and family gatherings:

“For entertaining or family celebrations, I will go out of my way to purchase food at a large specialty retail store. I can go end to end to find natural foods and the regular brands I’m seeking,” Abel shared. “If I’m going to create a food experience for my family, I will drive out of my way to find the ingredients needed to create the perfect experience for my guests.” 

Download 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends