Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Grocery Opportunities Amidst Rising Prices and Shifting Preferences

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
May 5, 2022
Grocery Opportunities Amidst Rising Prices and Shifting Preferences

In our most recent white paper, we took a closer look at the grocery sector. We examined how the recent economic shifts are impacting the industry and how consumer attitudes are changing two years into the pandemic. Read on for some of the highlights, and check out the full report here.

2021 Grocery Boom Followed by a More Challenging First Quarter in 2022

The grocery sector was widely considered one of the most resilient retail segments during the pandemic’s early period, and the strength continued in 2021. Year-over-year (YoY) and year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) foot traffic remained strong throughout much of last year, with Yo3Y performance peaking in July 2021 at 12.5%. The industry capitalized on its pandemic success by expanding, with a reported 200% increase in new grocery store leases in 2021 as compared to the number of new leases in 2019. 

But the impressive two-year streak that buoyed the industry seems to be waning. Like for many other sectors, Yo3Y grocery visits have decreased in recent months. While some of the drop can be attributed to the rise of the Omicron variant, the main culprit seems to be inflation and rising gas prices. 

February 2022 brought on the highest rate of inflation recorded in the United States in the past 40 years, with the consumer price index rising 7.9% in just one year. That same month also saw the first Yo3Y drop in monthly visits after 10 straight months of rising visits. 

Rising gas prices are also having an impact. Albertsons, a large supermarket chain, reported that higher prices at the pump are affecting how consumers shop. The grocer noticed that customers are now beginning to return to mission-driven shopping habits of making fewer grocery trips while filling bigger baskets during each visit – likely in an effort to cut down on driving. 

Mid April Rebound 

Despite all the challenges, recent foot traffic data shows that grocery visits are already beginning to rebound. Following a difficult couple of weeks, all grocery chains analyzed saw visits come close to matching or exceeding 2019 levels for the week of April 4th 2022, and grow relative to the equivalent week pre-pandemic for the week of April 11th 2019. And while grocery visits may not see a growth streak any time soon, foot traffic remained at 2019 levels the following week as well (the week of April 18th 2022). 

This may indicate that the initial shock has faded and consumers are beginning to come to terms with the current economic situation. It marks the latest sign of the unique power of grocery, even in the face of a seemingly endless wave of challenges. 

Final Thoughts

With the grocery sector feeling the impact of challenges it previously seemed impervious to, there are still many reasons for optimism. New initiatives are steering the sector through these newly choppy waters, low-cost retailers are thriving, and ghost kitchens are drawing customers into stores. 

For a deeper look at these trends – and more – click here to download our white paper.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In
Placer.ai’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index
Placer.ai Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
Announcing Placer.ai’s COVID RECOVERY DASHBOARD
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits
Placer.ai Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing Placer.ai’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays
Placer.ai Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall  
Placer.ai Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap 
Placer.ai Mall Indexes - August 2022 Recap
Five Below’s Back to School Success
Plus-Size Fashion’s Staying Power
Placer Bytes: Best Buy & GameStop 
Petco Barking Up the Right Tree