Even in times of economic hardship, food is an essential that will always be a priority in every household. This explains why the grocery industry keeps on booming both online and offline. In 2022, the size of the U.S. grocery market is $765.2 billion.
In this article, we'll analyze how grocery shopping compares between men and women, how different generations shop, and how shopping online is different from shopping in-store. To jump to the section you’re most interested in, follow the links below:
- Top grocery shopping statistics
- Grocery store market size
- Facts about grocery stores and shoppers
- Women’s vs. men’s grocery shopping habits
- In-store grocery shopping
- Online grocery shopping
- Online vs. in-store grocery shopping
- Top online grocery retailers in the US
- FAQs about grocery shopping
Top grocery shopping statistics
Here's a roundup of the key grocery shopping stats you need to know:.
- The supermarket and grocery store market size is set to grow 1.1% in 2022
- Online grocery stores are projected to reach $129.72 billion by 2023.
- COVID-19 increased digital grocery shopping by 41.9%.
- It costs about $27 an hour to hire a personal grocery shopper.
- In 2020, the global grocery retail market size was worth $12.29 trillion.
- Men and Millenials prefer buying groceries online.
Grocery store market size
- In 2022, the grocery store market size in the U.S. is $765.2 billion
Last year, the grocery store market size was $758.5 billion. This $6.7billion difference shows that the industry is growing rapidly.
- Between 2015 and 2020 the grocery store market size in the U.S. increased by 1.4% per annum
This shows that the grocery industry has grown steadily over the past five years.
Facts about grocery stores and shoppers
- In 2020, the average household food expenditure in the U.S. was about $7316
Eating at home for a year cost an average of $4942, while the average amount spent on fruits and vegetables was $977.
- There are 63,419 supermarkets and grocery stores in the U.S.
This number accounts for conventional supermarkets, supercenters, warehouse groceries, club stores, military commissaries, and gourmet stores.
Conventional supermarkets provide customers with a complete line of groceries as well as meat and produce. Most of these stores also offer bakery and deli services. Examples of conventional supermarkets include Publix and Kroger.
A limited assortment of grocery store brands offer store-brand products and a few other brand items. A good example is Aldi.
Supercenters offer groceries, produce, meat, and other food departments in addition to non-food items. Examples of supercenters include Target and Walmart.
A warehouse grocery doesn't require membership to buy items at discounted prices. The advantage is you get to shop in bulk. An example of a warehouse grocery is Food 4 Less.
Club stores are similar to warehouse groceries in that they offer you discounts, and you can buy groceries in bulk. However, you have to be a member to shop. Examples include Costco and Sam's Club.
A gourmet store sells health foods, specialty foods, and nutritional supplements. Since they offer local and organic food that could be imported, you can expect to pay premium prices. Dean & DeLuca is a good example of a gourmet store.
Military commissaries provide service members with the same products they'd find in the U.S., even abroad. These stores are similar to supermarkets, except the United States Defense Commissary Agency runs them.
If you're wondering which states have the most grocery store businesses, New York takes the lead with 9.83 million businesses, California has 7.72 million businesses, and Florida has 3.7million businesses.
- 83% of shoppers prefer traditional supermarkets
Despite having all the options we covered above, most shoppers prefer traditional supermarkets and would consider buying swapping from their current brand to a new one.
- Most shoppers buy groceries on Saturdays
(Source: CreditDonkey )
41 million shoppers buy groceries on Saturdays, which coincides with when most adults have time off from work. The average time spent shopping for groceries is 41 minutes, and the average number of trips per week is 1.5.
- The best days to shop are Monday through Thursday
The best times to shop for groceries and roam freely are Monday through Thursday, provided you go early or at midday. In the evening, grocery stores become crowded as people coming from work get last-minute ingredients for dinner.
- About 25% of grocery shoppers actively look for locally-grown foods
The health risks posed by processed foods have led shoppers to consider organic versions of food products. Even though organic food products cost more, 25% of shoppers choose these rather than processed food. However, nearly 25% of the grocery budget goes to processed foods and sweets.
- In 2020, households with lower incomes spent an average of $4,049 on food, while higher-income households spent an average of $12,245 on food
However, while higher-income households in the U.S. spent more money on food than households with a lower income, food spending represented a smaller proportion of their overall budget.
- Professional personal grocery shoppers usually earn an average of $27 per hour
(Source: Grocery Shopping Business)
A personal grocery shopper helps people who are too busy or unable to shop for their own groceries. These could be people who are homebound due to health problems, seniors, or people with an extremely busy professional schedule.
Most personal grocery shoppers charge based on the size of a grocery order, and they make an average of $27 per hour.
- Full-time grocery employees make an average salary of $25,000
In 2021, the average grocery store worker earned $25,613 a year. Male employees made an average salary of $29,110, while the average salary of female employees was $22,648.
- Approximately 80 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the U.S.
This figure is worth over $218 billion, and it shows that the average amount of food wasted per person is about 219 pounds. Food waste accounts for 22% of the municipal solid waste in landfills across the U.S.
Women's vs. men's grocery shopping habits
- The average age for female shoppers is 47 compared to the overall average age of 44.
This is likely due to the fact women, rather than men, tend to shop of behalf on their families. The average age for male shoppers is likely lowered by single men shopping for themselves.
- 56% of men make two or more shopping trips each week, and 52% of women do the same
This study done by the Hartman Group further debunks the myth that grocery shopping is a "mom" thing. The findings show that men are shopping for groceries more frequently than women.
- 70% of women are primary shoppers for groceries
Even though men take more shopping trips to the grocery store, women still dominate the grocery shopping market. This is mainly because women make up 70% of the primary shoppers for multi-person households and 53% for the non-married group.
- 69% of female shoppers carry a shopping list to the grocery store
69% of women create a shopping list before going to the grocery store compared to 52% of men. A list helps you not forget an item or end up buying unnecessary items at the grocery store.
- 57% of female shoppers collect coupons compared to 41% of male shoppers
Using coupons helps to maximize grocery savings, and it shows that women find using coupons more appealing than men.
- 25% of men changed their grocery shopping habits after the pandemic started
In 2020, 25% of men changed how they shopped for groceries by making their purchases online compared to 21% of women who did the same. 35% of all genders further stated that they avoided shopping at peak times during the pandemic.
- 56% of male shoppers pick up predetermined items while grocery shopping
The Hartman Group found that 65% of women browse through grocery stores compared to 56% of men. Male shoppers tend to take a more direct approach to grocery shopping. They go in and get out of the store with what they need. On the other hand, women will linger and explore the store for more options. In addition, men tend to prioritize alcohol and meat during their grocery shopping trips.
- Women take more time to shop
Women spend an average of 42 minutes to complete their grocery shopping while men spend 39 minutes. Women under 30 spend an average of 43 minutes, while those above 30 spend 40 minutes.
In-store grocery shopping
- 61.4% of offline grocery shoppers look for new brands
39.7% of online shoppers look for new grocery brands when shopping. 37.2% of offline buyers base their buying decisions on packaging design compared to 16.3% of buyers who shop online. This shows that physical stores provide a more interactive environment for buyers to try out new grocery products.
- 83% of grocery shoppers prefer shopping at traditional supermarkets
Most shoppers prefer traditional supermarkets over supercenters, warehouse clubs, gourmet grocers, and drugstores. However, 40% of shoppers still go to more than one store for price comparisons and look for the best deals.
- 65% of grocery shoppers opt for using self-checkout lanes to avoid slow checkouts
To avoid a slow checkout experience, 11% of shoppers have abandoned their shopping trip, while 65% prefer using the self-checkout lanes. Self-checkout lanes allow customers to pick products from the store and scan the barcodes themselves. Unfortunately, stores with self-checkout take the greatest hits from increased theft.
- 81% of shoppers are more likely to buy a grocery product if it is labeled as fresh and organic
COVID-19 sharpened people's awareness to focus on wellness, especially with health professionals emphasizing that severe complications from COVID-19 are more-likely faced by people with underlying health conditions.
- In 2020, grocery store food prices rose by 3.5%
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, food prices went up due to supply chain disruptions, and people changed their food consumption to a more healthy and organic food palette. In 2021, the retail food price increased at the same rate but varied among different food categories, as shown below.
Online grocery shopping
- In 2021, revenue from the online food and beverage industry in the U.S. was $34.2 billion
Compared to 2020, this number had increased by 8.2 billion dollars, and it's estimated to rise to $47.6 billion in 2025.
- The online grocery markets account for about 150 million shoppers
This number is projected to reach 163 million by 2024, which is a massive increase compared to 2019. Before COVID-19, the number of online grocery shoppers barely went beyond 87 million people.
- COVID-19 increased the number of online grocery shoppers by 41.9%
Americans turned to online shopping in 2020 due to the pandemic, increasing the number of online grocery shoppers from 21% to 41.9%.
- Grocery delivery and pickup sales have increased to $6.4 billion
COVID-19 led to a surge in grocery delivery and pickup sales. In 2019, delivery and pickup sales were $1.2 billion. By 2020, sales reached $4 billion in March for a 233% increase. This number continued to grow by 80% through June 2020 but declined to $5.7 billion in August of the same year. In 2021, grocery delivery and store pickup sales rose to $6.4 billion.
- 22% of customers buy groceries online once a week
(Source: invesp )
Out of this 22% of online shoppers, 53% say their main reason for buying groceries online is that it saves time. 31% state that they shop online because they have access to more products.
- Men and millennials prefer online grocery shopping
51% of men buy groceries online compared to 49% of women. 47% of millennials shop for groceries online compared to 31% of GenX and 19% of baby boomers.
- 40% of Millenials and Gen Z opt for online subscriptions for their groceries
Millennials and Gen Z consumers are eager to subscribe for online grocery deliveries compared to only 13% of Baby Boomers.
- 90% of online grocery shoppers had their purchases delivered to their workplaces or homes
Home and workplace delivery remained the most preferred delivery option. This was followed by 22% of people who preferred to pick up their grocery orders in-store and 22% opting for curbside delivery, while only 3% used the locker delivery system.
- Desktop transactions are most commonly used for grocery shopping compared to phones
In 2021, desktop transactions were more popular than phones because 47% of online shoppers stated that they'd place their orders on the retailer's website, while only 28% would place an order on the retailer's app.
Online vs. in-store grocery shopping
- 83% of shoppers still prefer buying groceries in-store
This shows that a majority of people are still reluctant to buy their food online. One of the reasons for their hesitation is that they question the food's freshness because they are not physically present to inspect it themselves.
- Non-edible grocery products made 28% of omnichannel dollar sales
In 2021, home shipments for non-edible groceries made up 28% of omnichannel sales. In 2020, this number was 22.4%. Seemingly, consumers prefer to buy non-edible groceries online and food products in-store. Non-edible groceries include paper towels, cleaning supplies, soap, detergent, baby care products, and personal care products.
Top online grocery retailers in the U.S.
Statista's survey results show that grocery store sales have doubled since the 90s, and total sales by grocery stores amounted to $803.05 billion in 2021.
Chain supermarkets dominate the grocery retail market, and Kroger takes the lead in sales. In 2020, Kroger's retail sales totaled $131.6 billion. The supermarket that takes second place is Albertson's, which generated total retail sales of $69.7 billion in the same year.
According to Statista, at the start of 2021, Walmart and Amazon were the best online grocery stores and the largest retailers in the U.S.
Walmart’s online grocery sales accounted for 27.2% of the total market share, while Amazon made up 20.8% of the total market share. Combined, the two stores made up 48% of the total online grocery market share.
Instacart takes third place with a market share of 17.7% since it experienced massive success during the pandemic. Compared to 70,000 shoppers in 2019, Instacart had over half a million shoppers in 2020.
Target is the fourth most popular online grocery store with a market share of 3.7%, followed by Amazon's specialized services such as Amazon Prime, Go, and Fresh, which hold a 2.9% market share.
These five online grocery stores make up 72.3% of the market share, where most online grocery shoppers spend most of their money.
FAQs about grocery shopping
How much has online grocery shopping increased?
In 2019 the grocery shopping sector grew by 22%. COVID-19 led to the growth of buying groceries online, and the sector grew by 40% in 2020.
What days do grocery stores restock?
This mainly depends on the store's restocking policy. As we mentioned earlier, Kroger restocks early in the morning. Walmart also restocks in the mornings, but some locations resupply shelves throughout the day, depending on stock availability. Costco restocks daily, as do most other stores since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Should I shop with a master grocery list?
A master grocery list acts as a reference list to guide you as you shop, so you don't forget things or go over budget. It usually includes a list of all the items you and your family need each time you go shopping for groceries.
You can categorize your master list by dairy products, bread, baking items, spices, canned goods, cereal, beverages, meats, toiletries, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and rice/pasta. This helps you ensure that your fridge and pantry are well-stocked, and it saves you money by ensuring you only buy what you need.
What grocery products do people buy the most?
50% of all grocery sales consist of perishables. Common food items that are frequently bought in American homes include eggs, milk, bread, packaged meats, jelly, salted snacks, cereals, frozen dinners, and soda.
What are the cheapest groceries to buy?
Studies show that milk, bananas, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, and white rice are the cheapest groceries you can get at the grocery store.
What's the average grocery store markup margin?
The average markup you can expect in stores is 12%, and the profit margin can be as low as 1%. Some markets earn a net profit that ranges from 5% to 12%. This markup usually depends on the product. For instance, perishable items can have a markup of about 20%, while canned goods can have a markup of approximately 26%.
If you are having a hard time planning out your grocery shopping, we hope you can use the insights from our grocery shopping statistics to your advantage.
You can prepare a master grocery list and use it as a reference when writing your shopping list. If possible, go to grocery stores on weekday mornings to avoid crowded aisles. If you're shopping for groceries online, consider installing a browser extension like Cently to make shopping using coupons easier.
Retailers who want to stay ahead and up to date with the latest grocery shopping habits can use the information in this article to tailor their strategies and target certain demographics based on these statistics.