January 6, 2016

Grocery Shopping Statistics: 23 Fun Size Facts to Know

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Whether you love it or hate, grocery shopping is one of those unavoidable chores. Mulling over the following facts and figures we’ve rounded up here can take your mind off the wait the next time you’re standing in the grocery store checkout line.

  1. How long does the average shopper spend in the grocery store?
    According to the Time Use Institute, the average shopping trip takes 41 minutes. If you multiply that by the 1.5-trip per week average, that’s over 53 hours per year you’re spending in the grocery store.

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  2. When do shopping trips take the longest?
    If you want to get in and out quickly, head to the grocery store on the weekdays. If you wait until Saturday or Sunday, you’re going to spend an average of 7 minutes more in the store.

  3. What day of the week is the most popular for grocery shopping?
    Saturdays are prime time for grocery shoppers. Approximately 41 million Americans choose this day to do their weekly shopping.

  4. Which day is the best for avoiding crowds?
    Shoppers who prefer a little more peace and quiet may want to plan their grocery store trips for Mondays or Tuesdays. Traffic averages out to about 29 million shoppers on these days, so you don’t have to worry about traffic jams in the produce section.

  5. What time of day is the busiest time at grocery stores?
    On weekdays, you’ll see the most activity between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. as people dash in to pick up last-minute items for dinner. On the weekends, things get started a little earlier, with traffic peaking between 11 a.m. and noon.

  6. Where do people do most of their shopping?
    Despite competition from drugstores, warehouse clubs, supercenters, and gourmet grocers, traditional supermarkets are still the go-to choice for food shoppers. Eighty-three percent of shoppers use them regularly for their edible purchases.

  7. How common is online grocery shopping?
    You can buy almost anything online these days, including groceries, but it hasn't taken off as much as books or electronics. Overall, 3% of shoppers say they purchase their groceries via the Internet.

  8. How many shoppers go to more than one store for groceries?
    Savvy shoppers know you always have to be on the lookout for the best deals. Over 40% of shoppers say they go to more than one store to get all the things they need.

  9. What percentage of shoppers take a written list to the grocery store?
    Going to the grocery store without a list is a guaranteed way to forget something or spend more than you planned. Sixty-nine percent of women say they make a list before going shopping compared to 52% of men.

  10. How often are shoppers using coupons?
    Couponing is an effective strategy for cutting grocery costs, and the majority of shoppers seem to be using them. Women are more likely to clip coupons, with 57% of female shoppers collecting them compared to 41% of men.

  11. How much of household income goes towards grocery purchases?
    Just 5.6% of total disposable income pays for grocery purchases these days. By comparison, Americans spend 4.3% of their disposable income on dining out.

  12. How many supermarkets are there in the U.S.?
    Altogether, there are nearly 38,000 supermarkets in the United States. Seventy percent of those are conventional grocery stores, with supercenters, gourmet stores, warehouse clubs, and military commissaries making up the remaining 30%.

  13. How much do Americans spend at grocery stores annually?
    Americans are spending big bucks to stay well-fed. In 2014, supermarket sales in the U.S. topped $638 billion. Sixty-five percent of that is spent at traditional grocery stores alone.

  14. How many items does the average grocery store carry?
    Not being able to find what you need usually isn’t an issue at your typical supermarket. For example, in 2014, grocery stores offered more than 42,200 items on average.

  15. How many Americans shop at a grocery store every day?
    On an average day, 32 million Americans head to the grocery store to pick up the necessities. That works out to 1 in 7 adults who are shopping at any given time.

  16. How many grocery trips does the average shopper make per week?
    There’s nothing more frustrating than having to go back to the grocery store because you forgot something. According to the Food Marketing Institute, shoppers hit the supermarket an average of 1.5 times per week.

  17. What percentage of shoppers do all the shopping for their household?
    Approximately 68% of grocery shoppers say they’re solely responsible for doing all the shopping for their family. Multi-person households represent 43% of shoppers while singles account for 25% of all primary shoppers.

  18. How much do primary shoppers spend on average?
    The weekly shopping bill for primary spenders of multi-person households comes to $118 on average. Single shoppers spend about half that, averaging $60 a week.

  19. Do men or women do most of the grocery shopping?
    Women are more likely to be found cruising the grocery store aisles than men. Among primary shoppers for multi-person households, 70% are female. For the non-married crowd, 53% are women.

  20. How old is the average grocery shopper?
    The average age for adult grocery shoppers in the U.S. is 44. The average for female shoppers is slightly higher, at 47.

  21. Who spends the most time shopping?
    Women take a little longer to get their shopping done than men, averaging 42 minutes versus 39. The under 30 crowd also takes longer, averaging a 43-minute trip compared to 40 minutes for shoppers aged 30 and up.

  22. What are shoppers spending the most money on?
    The biggest chunk of the shopping budget goes toward the middle aisles of the store. Nearly 25% of grocery shopping dollars are spent on processed foods and sweets.

  23. What percentage of shoppers prefer locally grown food?
    Concerns about processed foods have led some shoppers to opt for organic versions of their favorite products. Despite the higher cost, 25% of shoppers say they specifically look for foods that are locally grown or sourced.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Grocery shopping is one of life’s necessary evils — it’s a drain on your wallet and your time, but at least you get the benefit of a stocked fridge and pantry in return for your hard work. Plan around the busy times and you can minimize the amount of time you spend navigating the aisles and standing in line.

SOURCES:

  • Time Use Institute
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Progressive Grocer
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • USDA
  • MarketTrack

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