Numerator: SNAP Recipients Shop More Frequently, Walmart Reigns Supreme

According to the report, SNAP shoppers are less likely to shop at retailers such as Target, Whole Foods and Publix, and instead opt for Walmart, Kroger and club chains.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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With the recent expiration of the SNAP Emergency Allotments (EA), many SNAP recipients are shifting even more to private brands to stretch their benefits. Numerator has released its new SNAP Shopper Scorecard, fielded April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, which provides a view of SNAP consumer behavior across shopping trips, regardless of whether benefits were utilized.

Overall, compared to Non-SNAP shoppers, SNAP shoppers are twice as likely to come from larger households – resulting in higher spend overall, particularly on groceries (+42% vs. Non-SNAP shoppers). SNAP shoppers make 68% more grocery trips per year but spend 15% less per trip on average than Non-SNAP shoppers.

Among SNAP recipients, Walmart is the top destination given its low prices. Walmart captures over a quarter (25.5%) of SNAP shoppers’ grocery dollars annually, compared to 20% for Non-SNAP shoppers, and nearly all SNAP shoppers (96.9%) purchased groceries at Walmart in the past year.

Half (50.2%) of all SNAP shoppers bought groceries from Kroger in the past year, followed by Costco (36.4%), Albertsons (42.1%) and Sam’s Club (42.2%). Outside of grocery, 76.1% of SNAP shoppers reported buying groceries at 7-Elven in the past year, and 67.2% reported shopping at Dollar General in the past year.

According to the scorecard, SNAP shoppers are less likely than Non-SNAP shoppers to frequent more “premium” retailers such as Target, Whole Foods and Publix. When they do visit, they spend less than Non-SNAP shoppers on average.

When it comes to buying groceries on Amazon, 46% of SNAP households buy groceries on Amazon compared to 57% of Non-SNAP households. However, SNAP households who do shop on Amazon for groceries spend about 18% more with the e-tailer ($236 annually vs. $200 for Non-SNAP), likely driven by their larger households and increased grocery needs.

Finally, between America’s two largest club chains, SNAP recipients favor Sam’s Club of Costco, despite Costco capturing more overall share (6.0% compared to 4.3%). Sam’s Club draws in a larger percentage of SNAP shoppers (42.2% vs. 36.4% for Costco) and higher overall spending.