The State of Grocery

Our latest white paper takes a closer look at the grocery category’s recent performance to understand how top brands are coping with the increased competition and tighter consumer budgets. We dove into the foot traffic data to find out how the rise in discount grocery channels is impacting grocery visits and see how the current inflation is affecting consumers’ grocery habits. We also looked at some highly successful chains to understand what is setting them apart from the competition. Below is a taste of our findings. For the full report, read the white paper. 

Inflation Hits the Grocery Sector 

The grocery sector has seen a dramatic few years – from early pandemic visit surges to the more recent price hikes, supply-chain issues, and labor shortages. But despite these challenges, grocery stores are weathering the storm. In 2022, foot traffic to supermarkets consistently outpaced 2019 levels for seven out of the past nine months, which suggests that the industry has succeeded in holding on to its pandemic gains. And though year-over-year (YoY) foot traffic slowed toward the end of Q3, these declines are in comparison to impressively elevated visits in 2021. 

Fewer, But Longer Visits

It is also critical to note that, although visit growth has slowed down in recent months, median visit duration has increased – which may mean that the decline in visit numbers does not necessarily mean a drop in purchasing. 

Diving into the data reveals that the median visit duration across leading grocers nationwide began in June 2022 – the same month that YoY visits dropped into the negatives. The correlation between the increase in visit length and the decrease in visits suggests that some shoppers are visiting grocery stores less frequently because they are spending more time in-store on each trip buying in bulk and filling larger baskets. 

But even as the grocery category continues to prove its resilience in the face of retail challenges, plenty of competitors – most notably dollar & discount stores – are still looking to take a slice of the grocery pie.

For more offline grocery insights, read the full white paper here

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