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05/25/2021

FMI report explores how the pandemic changed grocery shopping

In its four decades of releasing a U.S. grocery shopper trends report, FMI, with help from The Hartman Group, found significant changes in eating at home, buying online and striving to be well.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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According to newly released data of U.S. grocery shopper trends, nearly 6 in 10 shoppers are eating more at home and about half are cooking more at home than they were before the pandemic. Add in the fact that nearly two-thirds of American grocery shoppers are buying groceries online, and it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed what shoppers are buying and how they’re shopping.

cover of the report

The analysis comes from a survey conducted by FMI — The Food Industry Association in partnership with The Hartman Group and the annual report U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2021. 

FMI has been releasing a grocery shopper trends report for four decades and the organization said in its latest report that the pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in how shoppers shop for food and what foods they’re buying, as they prepare more meals at home but also aim to eat healthier.

“Throughout this past year, American grocery consumers have developed a deeper relationship with their kitchens, increased their healthy eating consciousness, and have learned new ways to shop,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. “We see shoppers engaging in more stock-up trips to support their at-home cooking, exercising new online shopping skills, and letting their personal concept of being well impact their food and shopping behaviors. Looking ahead, we expect many of these trends to continue.”  

While the study found the big swing in eating more at home, it also learned that shoppers are enjoying it, finding that 42% of respondents said they “like” or “love” to grocery shop. The ease of e-commerce shopping will play a role on that emotion, as 64% of all U.S. adults in the survey  bought groceries online last year and at a more frequent rate, nearly 30% of online shoppers said they placed a weekly order. 

Lastly the study found shoppers are looking to eat better and be healthier. FMI explored this in an online experience that shares shoppers’ insights on being well in their own words. That and the full report can be found here.