In a society that wants “perfect” organic produce and meats delivered to the door, the act of filling up the pantry is undergoing a revolution. Consumers demand fresher produce, organic choices, low prices and more convenience from their grocers, according to a study produced by Consumer Reports, Yonkers, N.Y. In fact, U.S. shoppers are willing to go beyond their neighborhood supermarket to get what they want, and food retailers are introducing a variety of innovations to adapt.
In the study, “Faster, Fresher, Cheaper,” Consumer Reports notes the pace of innovation in grocery stores and convenience trends, including smaller-footprint stores that offer more limited, “curated” food selections for time-pressed customers; in-store meal kits; home delivery; curbside pickup; and partnerships with local farms. Consumer Reports also examines the supermarket of the future, which could include in-store sensors communicating with smartphone apps for easy purchase and no checkout lines and boutique-style “concierges” offering help throughout the store.
“The new American shopper wants food that’s very fresh, minimally processed and that satisfies an adventurous palate. Shoppers also want it to be convenient and easy to get,” says Tobie Stanger, senior editor. “With all the choices available in stores and online today, it’s a buyers’ market for consumers in many parts of the country.”
This survey found 70% of respondents were either completely or very satisfied with the supermarkets where they do most of their grocery shopping. By contrast, only 48% revealed they’re very or completely satisfied with their markets’ healthy offerings, and only 29% said the same about the price of their markets’ organic options.
The 2016 Annual Supermarkets Survey surveyed 57,805 Consumer Reports subscribers about their grocery shopping. Grocery store ratings are based on 50,218 responses, reflecting readers’ 93,447 shopping trips to supermarkets, supercenters and warehouses between July 2015 and September 2016. Online grocery reader scores are based on 1,721 ratings of online grocers.