Consumers across generations buy more and more groceries online

An article in The Ticker Tape, Ameritrade’s online publication, noted how millennials are changing the grocery retailing landscaping by favoring grocerants when they’re shopping in supermarkets and by increasingly shopping online. Amazon’s acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market, which is strong in retail foodservice, exemplifies how a company can marry the grocerant and e-commerce concepts, stated the article, which predicts that delivery of grocerant-prepared food will soon be commonplace.

“Food shopping ‘is the next major retail sector to be disrupted by e-commerce,’ ” Pamela Danziger, the founder of Stevens, Pa.-based Unity Marketing, is quoted as saying.

Although millennials are leading the way, they are not the only American consumers who are buying groceries online. While 65 percent of millennials in the United States buy groceries online, so do 55 percent of Gen X-ers and 41 percent of baby boomers, the article said, citing data from the Food Marketing Institute and market researcher The Nielsen Co.

Why do consumers buy groceries online? The article pointed to research from Chicago-based A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm, which found that more than 50 percent of consumers choose e-commerce because of home delivery, more than 40 percent like finding unique products online, roughly 35 percent are driven by curiosity, and 30 percent say that they save time this way versus visiting a store.