Although online grocery shoppers can be found across all demographic groups, they are more likely to be younger men, ages 18-44, according to a recent report on online grocery shopping by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Amazon Prime members and young adults are other groups more likely to grocery shop online, finds The NPD Group report, The Virtual Grocery Store.
The internet is quickly becoming the virtual grocery store for many U.S. consumers with 52 million currently grocery shopping online, according to the NPD study. Grocery shopping online appeals to those who find grocery shopping a necessary evil and many of those who feel that way are men. Since many younger adults are delaying marriage and the formation of families, and many Boomers are becoming widowers, more than 40 percent of primary grocery shoppers are men and 60 percent of men, 18 to 44, have purchased groceries online. NPD has found that men tend to make grocery shopping a mission and spend less time in brick and mortar stores compared to women. Men will also buy fewer items on each trip and will likely leave the store if they can’t find an item. Online grocery shopping is the answer for men who are looking to avoid physical trips to the store. For these reasons, online shoppers are disproportionately men who are looking to minimize physical trips to the store.
Another large online grocery shopping group is Amazon Prime members. With some 31 million households with an Amazon Prime membership or access to one, it makes sense that 52 percent of Amazon prime members shop for groceries online. Amazon already dominates online grocery shopping plus add in the quick delivery benefit that comes with an Amazon Prime membership and it’s an offer too good to refuse.
Young adults of the Gen Z and Millennial generations, who were born and raised in the tech era, also favor grocery shopping online. It’s second nature for these young adults to use the internet for all types of purchases. Online grocery shopping is especially appealing to Millennials who appreciate global cuisines and can find what they need online and see food shopping, prep, and eating as an experience rather than just sustenance.
“Although online grocery shopping lags other e-commerce industries in terms of development, it is growing and the groups that are the most active online grocery shoppers are valuable shoppers as they spend more on groceries overall than brick and mortar only shoppers,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Now is the time to start developing test programs if you lack an e-commerce program or to expand your current services. Keep in mind it’s about saving consumers time using an online presence for them to get the foods and beverages they’re accustomed to consuming.”