Grocery Shopping Statistics

21.06.2021
Milena

Americans spend over $650 billion on groceries every year. Grocery shopping statistics show that the weekly average spent on groceries is $120, while the average time spent shopping is 41 minutes. Overall, the grocery store industry is an essential part of the US economy. It feeds families but also provides jobs and generates enormous profits. Not everything is perfect, though. Americans waste food worth $161 billion a year, while shoplifting costs the industry nearly $47 billion. There are a lot more interesting stats and facts about this seemingly dull sector. Scroll down to discover them all.

Grocery Shopping Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • US supermarket and other grocery store sales hit $650.97 billion in 2019.
  • Americans spend about $120 a week on grocery shopping.
  • Online grocery sales are expected to reach $129.72 billion by 2023.
  • Hiring a personal grocery shopper costs about $27 an hour.
  • During the COVID outbreak, the average amount spent per grocery store trip jumped to $49.28.
  • Coronavirus increased the number of digital grocery shoppers by 41.9%.
  • The US wastes about 80 billion pounds of food worth over $161 billion.
  • Shoplifting costs the grocery retail industry $46.8 billion a year.

US Grocery Store Shopping

1. In 2019, supermarket and other grocery store sales surpassed $650 billion.

The exact value of grocery sales in the US in 2019 was $650.97 billion. Ten years earlier, in 2009, this sector generated sales worth $489.03 billion. Meaning, within a decade, the grocery store sales increased by $161.94 billion or 33.11%.

(Statista)

2. Shoppers spend about 41 minutes in grocery stores.

  • How long does the average shopper spend in the grocery store?

The average time spent grocery shopping in the US is 41 minutes per trip and about 53 hours per year. Grocery shopping over the weekend takes an additional seven minutes, and that’s one of the many interesting facts about grocery stores.

  • What is the most popular day to go grocery shopping?

About 41 million Americans do their grocery shopping on a Saturday. So, Saturdays see the most grocery store customers per day.

  • What day is the grocery store least crowded?

About 29 million buyers visit grocery stores on Mondays and Tuesdays. This makes these days the least crowded ones.

(CreditDonkey)

3. The average weekly household grocery costs in the US are about $120.

FMI reports that the average weekly grocery costs per American household in 2020 are $120.82. This figure is affected by household composition. So, families with children under 18 spend a weekly average of $160.35 or 32.71% more. The same grocery shopping statistics show that the average grocery costs of households without children are $106.64 or 13.20% less.

(FMI)

4. Women are usually the primary shoppers in their households.

Even though the times are a-changin, women are still primarily in charge of grocery shopping and cooking in the household. Among female consumers, 76% claimed to be the primary shopper in the family, while only 58% of male consumers responded identically.

Women also have more control over what to buy and where to shop. Grocery shopping statistics by gender reveal that 56% and 38% of women have the only say on these two issues. By comparison, 33% and 23% of male shoppers individually decide what to purchase and where to get it.

When the focus shifts on who influences what items to get and where to do grocery shopping, the situation is similar. About 56% and 64% of male buyers said that their spouse/partner influenced the decision. Among female shoppers, only 35% and 49% said that their spouse/partner had any say in the matters.

(Hartman Group)

5. Personal grocery shoppers cost about $27 per hour.

The rates for personal grocery shoppers in the US usually range between $20 and $100 per order. Grocery shopping statistics indicate that the average hourly rate is about $27. Personal grocery shopping is becoming a popular side gig or even a full-time job. It can earn workers about $216 a day if they work 8 hours a day.

(Grocery Shopping Business)

6. Perishables account for over 50% of all supermarket sales.

Grocery store statistics reveal that 51.47% of all supermarket sales by department are perishables. These products include meat, fish, deli, produce, dairy, frozen foods, bakery, and floral. But what is the most sold item in a grocery store? While there is no “most popular” product, bread, packaged meats, eggs, and milk all deserve a mention. Total groceries were 41.53% of all supermarket sales. General merchandise and health and beauty care represented 1.28% and 4.70% of all US supermarkets sales.

(FMI)

Grocery Store Industry Statistics

7. In 2019, the average US grocery store was over 42 square feet.

More precisely, the average grocery store size was 42.415 square feet. The weekly sales per square foot of selling area were about $15.15. US supermarkets recorded median weekly sales per location of $554,958. Meaning, grocery store transactions per day reached about $79,279. And how much does a grocery store make a day? That would be $65,111 — a median amount in 2018.

Grocery stores statistics reveal that the average number of items carried in a supermarket in 2019 was 28,112. The average number of items in a grocery store in 2020 went up to 40,000 and even 50,000 at larger supermarkets.

(FMI)

8. Food retailers provide over 4 million jobs and have a direct output of over $363 billion.

This sector’s direct output is $363.19 billion, and the industry pays over $153.67 billion in total taxes. Grocery industry statistics reveal that 4,844,497 Americans are employed in the division, and their direct wages exceed $167.73 billion. In this regard, the food retailer industry is an integral part of the US economy.

(FMI)

9. In 2019, Walmart was the largest employer in the supermarket industry.

The supermarket boasted a workforce of 2.2 million employees, way more than any other grocery store. Kroger and Publix Super Markets came in second and third as largest grocery store employers. These brands provided jobs to 460,000, and 201,000 workers, 2019 grocery store employment statistics show. These three largest employers also have the largest supermarket market share in the country. Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize employed over 167,000 and 121,000 people, figures that earned them an honorable mention. Note that Amazon was omitted here as its operations go beyond offering groceries.

(Statista)

10. Full-time employees earn an average salary of nearly $30,000.

The average grocery store worker in the US made $25,975 a year in 2017. The average salary among female employees was lower at $22,648, while male grocery store workers earned $29,110. Grocery store employers were, on average, 37.3 years old and worked about 42.1 hours a week. Among the less-known grocery store facts, we have the most common positions and male-to-female worker ratio. Cashiers represent nearly one-fourth (24.9%) of the grocery store workforce. Among all supermarket employees, 51.5% are male, and the rest are female.

(DataUSA)

11. Every year, about 80 billion pounds of food is wasted and thrown away in the United States.

This amount is the equivalent of 1,000 Empire State Buildings and worth about $161 billion. The average food waste per person in the US is about 219 pounds. Shockingly, food waste represents 22% of the municipal solid waste in American landfills. According to the latest grocery store food waste statistics, about 40% of the total food supply is thrown away.

(rts)

12. Americans annually throw away food worth over $1,500 per household.

The average US family of four wastes food worth $1,600 every year. Multiplying this amount by 18 years reveals that your food waste could pay your child’s first-year college tuition. Food waste also contributes to global warming. It generates 7% of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Wasted food production in America has the same effect as 37 million cars’ emissions, as grocery store waste statistics show.

(rts)

13. 33 US brands joined the Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions reduction goal.

Food waste has been a serious issue in the United States for decades. In November 2016, 33 brands joined forces and committed to reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030. Amazon, Walmart, Hello Fresh, and Koger are among the companies that accepted the challenge. Some of these brands have a significant US grocery market share, and their participation is essential. Grocery store spoilage statistics meanwhile indicate that food waste costs the country about $161 billion every year. Reducing it by half would save an impressive $80.5 billion.

(EPA)

14. In 2019, the average cost of a shoplifting incident was $559.

Shoplifting, fraud, and inventory shrinking are among the most common grocery retail store incidents in the US. While the average incident damage was $559, the average loss per dishonest employee was $1,203.16. Overall, the annual losses suffered by retailers due to such incidents was $46.8 billion. Grocery store theft statistics reveal all of the above cost about 1.33% of the sales.

(Forbes)

15. 41% of retailers reported an increase in overall inventory shrink.

All types of retail fraud and shoplifting have been on the rise, causing overall inventory shrink. Yet, about a third (36.5%) of the cases are external incidents, while the rest is employee theft. The average cost of return fraud in the US is $1,766.27, while the median one is $171. Grocery store shoplifting statistics meanwhile reveal that 60% of shoplifters entered at least two different stores of the same retail chain which resulted in them being caught. Then, about 20% visited three or more locations.

(Forbes)

Online Grocery Shopping Statistics & Trends

16. Ecommerce grocery sales are expected to hit $129.72 billion by 2023.

In 2019, the online grocery market size was $58.36 billion, representing a YoY growth of 22%. In 2020, the online grocery market noted a significant 52.9% jump and hit $89.22 billion. Per the eMarketer research, the segment will only keep increasing in the upcoming years. In 2021, 2022, and 2023, the projected YoY growth is 5.2%, 18.1%, and 17%. eMarketer expects digital grocery sales to reach $93.83 billion in 2021 and $110.86 billion in 2023. Per the brand’s online grocery shopping trends, the 2023 online grocery sales are expected to hit $129.72 billion.

(eMarketer)

17. About 22% of consumers purchase groceries online at least once per week.

For 53% of those who buy groceries online, the main reason is the process’s speed. They believe online grocery shopping saves time. About 50% claimed that it’s more convenient, and 31% said that online shopping for groceries gives them access to more products. Other top reasons for switching brick-and-mortar with online stores include saving money (20%), a wider selection of products (19%), and storing shopping lists (17%). About 8% and 7% of online grocery shoppers said that this option provides better quality and fresher produce.

(invesp)

18. Men and millennials are the most common online grocery shoppers.

Analyzing the online grocery shopping habits between men and women shows that the first are more comfortable with the concept. Stats on online grocery shoppers demographics suggest that 51% of American men purchase at least some of their groceries online. Just under half or 49% of female consumers do the same.

When it comes to online shopping trends among different generations, millennials lead the way. Nearly half of them (47%) purchase groceries via the internet. In contrast, only 31% of GenX shoppers and 19% of Baby Boomers buy groceries online. Only 4% of consumers from other generations do online grocery shopping.

(invesp)

19. Home and work deliveries remain the most common delivery method among online grocery shoppers.

In June 2020, 90% of online grocery buyers had their purchases delivered to their homes or workplaces. eMarketer’s digital grocery store statistics show that from February 2020 to June 2020, this segment decreased from 91% to 90%. Home/work delivery remained the most common delivery option, followed by picking up products from the store (22%). Picking up curbside was another typical delivery method (22%), while only 3% of consumers used locker delivery.

(eMarketer)

20. Amazon is the king of online grocery shopping in the US, regardless of demographics.

Grocery store demographics don’t matter with digital shopping. Amazon leads this segment by far. About 62% of all consumers purchase food and drinks through the platform, according to the latest grocery store industry statistics. AmazonFresh, Amazon Pantry, and Amazon Prime Now are some of the channels used by 58% of male and 68% of female shoppers. Amazon is also popular across all age groups. It’s used for buying food and beverages online by 68%, 64%, and 51% of those aged 18-34, 35-54, and over 55.

The US online grocery market share of other brands is significantly lower, according to online grocery sales statistics. Walmart comes the closest as it’s used by 42% of all consumers. Target, grocery store websites, and digital grocery delivery companies attract 25%, 24%, and 18% of shoppers.

(eMarketer)

COVID Grocery Shopping Statistics

21. People highly concerned about the COVID outbreak did more online grocery shopping.

About 38% of Americans who worry about coronavirus purchase groceries online. Those who have moderate and low levels of concern also use online grocery shopping less. Among those with a moderate anxiety level, less than a third (30%) buy groceries online. A bit over one-fourth (26%) of those with a low level of concern get their groceries from online stores.

(Statista)

22. Coronavirus decreased the number of customers of grocery delivery and pickup.

Grocery store statistics during coronavirus reveal COVID-19 affected the number of US shoppers who used grocery delivery and pickup. In August 2019, about 16.1 million Americans used grocery delivery and pickup. By March 2020, this figure had jumped to an impressive 39.5 million or by 145.34%. The segment kept growing over the next several months until June 2020, when it hit a record-high 45.6 million consumers. With the COVID outbreak, grocery delivery and pickup started losing popularity. In August 2020, about 37.5 or 17.76% fewer customers went for this option.

(Statista)

23. COVID boosted the number of digital grocery shoppers by 41.9%.

In 2019, about 92.3 million consumers shopped for groceries online. That year, the YoY increase was a considerable 21%. Yet, online grocery shopping statistics during COVID show a drastic change came in 2020 when the number of online grocery buyers jumped by a stunning 41.9%, reaching 131 million. Due to the virus outbreak, Americans turned to online shopping rather than visiting retail stores. In the upcoming years, the growth is expected to slow down. eMarketer projects that the number of digital grocery shoppers will reach 137.4 million in 2021, and 143.1 million in 2022. By 2023, 147.4 million Americans will buy groceries via the internet.

(eMarketer)

24. COVID-19 didn’t prevent Americans from visiting grocery stores more than before.

In the Grocery Shopper Trends 2020 report, FMI compares consumer behavior before and after the coronavirus outbreak. Their grocery store statistics show that before the pandemic, Americans made 2.7 trips to the grocery store per week. How many times does the average person go to the grocery store during the coronavirus outbreak, you may wonder. Well, shoppers visited grocery stores an average of 3.6 times since the pandemic started.

Their grocery store sales data also reveal that households visited five banners in a month before the outbreak. This segment decreased during COVID as 40% of consumers reported visiting fewer grocery stores. Finally, before the pandemic hit, 14.5% of grocery shopping spend was online, while after, the segment jumped to 27.9%. These are some exciting supermarket facts that show how COVID-19 has reshaped Americans’ grocery shopping habits.

(FMI)

25. Coronavirus increased the grocery shopping basket size by nearly 20%.

The latest 2020 grocery store sales statistics show that Americans are spending more during the COVID-19 outbreak. One year ago, the average amount spent on groceries per trip was about $41.38. Supermarket statistics show that this amount has increased by 19%, reaching $49.28 per trip.

(Supermarket News)

Frequently Asked Questions

What days do groceries restock?

It depends on the store and its restocking policy. Fry’s stores, which are a Kroger’s brand, usually restock early in the mornings. The same goes for Walmart, even though the brand’s locations sometimes supply shelves throughout the day too. 

Costco used to restock a few times a week, but many of its locations started reloading daily after the coronavirus outbreak. The latest grocery stores statistics show that most supermarkets have shifted to daily restocking ever since the COVID-19 situation unraveled.

What is a master grocery list?

A master grocery list is a reference shopping list that includes all the items you and your family need around the house. It contains the basics that you usually buy during every grocery store trip. 

Consumers typically update their master list when they stop using a specific product or start using a new one. Besides helping you have a well-stocked fridge, a master grocery list also saves you money, grocery shopping statistics show. Namely, people who use a shopping list avoid overspending and purchasing products they won’t use.

What is the most bought food in America?

Over 50% of all grocery shopping sales are perishables. As for the most popular products in the country, bread, packaged meats, and peanut butter and jelly hold the lead. Eggs, milk, salty snacks, and frozen dinners are other common foods. Americans also buy cereal and soda a lot.

What is the average markup in a grocery store?

Grocery shopping statistics for America reveal that the average markup in the country’s stores is 12%. The average gross margin is about 10.47, while the profit margin sometimes is as low as 1% or 2%. Some markets earn between 5% and 12% in net profit. 

All in all, there’s no rule about the markup as each brand has its price policy. The markup also depends on the product. Canned goods usually have a markup of about 26%, while perishables’ markup is about 20%.

How much has online grocery shopping increased?

Online grocery shopping trends show a constant increase in digital grocery orders. In 2019, the sector grew 22%, while in 2020, it has increased by about 40%. The COVID-19 outbreak played a significant role. It has also boosted the number of digital grocery buyers by 41.9%.

What are the cheapest groceries to buy?

Average food cost per month stats show that milk, onion, and lettuce are among the cheapest groceries you can buy. Bananas, white rice, eggs, and potatoes are also reasonably priced. A loaf of fresh white bread and tomatoes are among the products you can get for under a dollar.

The Takeaway

Shopping for groceries doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You only have to know how to do it right, and that takes time and planning. Our grocery shopping statistics provide useful data not only about the industry but also on shopper behavior.  You can use them to your advantage to avoid shopping on the busiest days or even to discover the cheapest groceries.

References: Statista, CreditDonkey, FMI, Hartman Group, Grocery Shopping Business, FMI, FMI, Statista, FMI, Data USA, rts, EPA, Forbes, eMarketer, invesp, eMarketer, Statista, Statista, FMI, Supermarket News

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