Shopping

Evaluating online shopping grocery trends

It was only a few years ago that online food shopping seemed be a relatively novel concept. Yet it is certainly gaining ground, with new research from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation revealing that over one-third of the time, consumers are shopping for groceries online. This research sheds light on the patterns and habits of online shoppers.

The attached report presents the results of 1,000 interviews among adults about online grocery shopping, which were conducted from February 14-19, 2018, and were weighted to ensure nationally representative results. Check out a summary of the findings below.

Who Grocery Shops Online?

  • Women are more likely than men to say they shop for groceries online most of the time (32% vs. 26%, respectively).
  • Those who are under 45 are more likely to buy food online most of the time, especially compared to those over 65 (34% vs. 23%, respectively).
  • Minorities are also more likely to shop for food online most of the time, compared to whites (35% vs. 27%, respectively).

Who Cares About Nutrition Info?

  • Online nutrition information is more likely to be read before purchasing food by women, those under 45 and minorities.
  • People under the age of 45 are more likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.
  • Minority respondents (especially minority women) are more likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.
  • College-educated respondents (especially college-educated women) are more likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.

 Not Everyone Reads Nutrition Info.

  • More than half of consumers over 45 don’t check nutrition information prior to food shopping online.
  • Respondents aged 45-64 are less likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.
  • White respondents (especially white men) are less likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.
  • Non-college-educated respondents are less likely to check both online and in-store nutrition information.

Big Takeaways

  • When it comes to reading nutrition info before purchasing groceries online, age is the biggest factor (among the demographics observed).
  • The most popular types of food to buy online are snacks, followed by cereals/breakfast foods and canned goods.
  • Fewer than half of shoppers are reading nutrition info online before purchasing food (42%).
  • 66% of shoppers read nutrition info before purchasing food in a store.
  • Cost and time are the two primary barriers to shopping online.

Online shopping seems here to stay. From meal kits to shopping for weekly groceries, the options consumers have for online shopping will likely continue to grow.

These insights can help us better understand how shoppers make decisions about food online, and how food decisions and tradeoffs might shift as more consumers seek out online alternatives.