2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report Reveals What Consumers Want From Their Retailers

With grocery shopping being so complex, what is the best way to track how consumers personalize their grocery shopping experience? The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) released the 45th edition of U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, to understand grocery shopper attitudes and behavior.

The 2019 report, prepared by The Hartman Group, Inc., studies what consumers want from their retailers when personalizing their grocery shopping.

“Trends explores the current food retail marketplace and the influential roles health, well-being and technology play in the experience,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “Food shopping is personal, and grocers help their shoppers navigate shifting needs, values, priorities and life pressures that require teamwork, negotiation and compromise at home.”

Shoppers see the process of shopping across channels and banners as a personalization strategy. According to the report, shoppers visit an average of 4.4 banners per month and regularly shop 3.1 channels to meet their diverse grocery needs. Shoppers expect food retailers to evolve with their needs, offering more personalization, but generally, they are satisfied with their primary store’s ability to “meet their needs” (average 8.7/10).


“One third of households have at least one family member following a non-medically prescribed diet, and this rate is higher for younger generations,” Sarasin said. “In an effort to meet their idea of eating well, households are eating in increasingly personalized ways, challenging the food shopping experience.”

Among brick and mortar grocery store-selection criteria, quality, freshness, low prices, cleanliness and variety represent ways the physical store competes for shopper loyalty.

The lengthy list of attributes related to convenience in a physical store underpin a growing consideration among Gen Z and Millennials to shop online, according to a FMI’s press release.

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Shoppers rank their online experience slightly better than those in physical stores when it comes to transparency, convenience and personalization, but online is not cannibalizing in-store visits, the 43% of consumers who shop online also average 1.7 trips a week to their physical stores, higher than the national average of 1.6 trips per week.

These desires for both convenience and discovery also lead to consumers experimenting with more personalized methods for collecting groceries, such as delivery or click-and-collect methods.

2019 Trends findings are based on ethnographic interviews and a quantitative online survey of 1,786 U.S. grocery shoppers fielded in 2019. For more information and to download the report, visit www.FMI.org/GroceryTrends.