What do Grocery Shoppers Want During The Holidays?

During the often stressful and busy holiday month, convenience is critical when it’s time to grocery shopping, with 55% of consumers feeling that grocery retailers could make their lives easier this holiday season by grouping holiday items in one area of the store, according to The State of Grocery Retail Report from Phononic.

The survey uncovered insights into shoppers’ routine patterns, as well as specific trends during the busy holiday season. Additionally, the study looked to evaluate how preferences are evolving as younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers increasingly become a dominant buying cohort.

The youngest demographic polled (ages 18-24), were especially drawn to convenience, with a quarter of respondents in this age group wanting to see popular items at checkout (26%) and pre-made holiday meal offerings (24%).

Phononic’s study showed that consumers prefer to shop at food retailers that offer the best quality over those with the lowest price tags. In fact, quality was the highest-ranking factor (31%) that consumers consider when choosing a food retailer.

The good news for retailers is that consumers – across age groups – are most often loyal to one grocery store for the majority of their shopping, with just under a third (29%) identifying themselves as loyal shoppers.

However, this trend shifts when looking at Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Thirty-four percent of 18-24-year-old respondents identify themselves as Bargain Hunters – demonstrating that food retailers must foster loyalty among this demographic.

The study also found that the holiday season can impact loyalty, with 34% of consumers noting that during the holidays they make several trips to a variety of different stores for grocery shopping.

The report also revealed several additional key findings related to the holiday shopping season:

  • Grocery stores should rethink the checkout line, as one in four consumers (25%) would like to see more fresh produce offered at checkout this holiday season – even beating out alcohol, which came in third at 17%.
  • The regional grocery store is still a staple for consumers during the holidays, with 43% of respondents noting they do most of their holiday food shopping at these stores.
  • When it comes to holiday meal essentials, consumers want convenience, with one in six respondents noting they want premade holiday meal offerings to make their lives easier during the holidays, and one in four wanting to see fresh produce such as vegetables at checkout. When it comes to favorite holiday meals that consumers may want to see more of from food retailers, more than half (51%) of consumers surveyed listed mashed potatoes as a must-have side dish on their holiday table followed by stuffing at 45%.
  • Consumers want food retailers to make the holidays easier and more efficient, with the majority of shoppers (57%) agreeing that the crowds and long lines are the most frustrating part of shopping during the holidays.
  • Finally, turkey trends haven’t changed with the times, with the majority (57%) still buying their turkey in a traditional grocery store, further solidifying the report’s finding that most consumers identify as loyal shoppers.

For more information on this study, visit: https://content.phononic.com/2018/State-of-Grocery-Retail-Report