Here’s Who’s Shopping Online for Groceries

August 18, 2017

Online grocery shopping is still nascent, but it’s responsible for 80% of grocery dollar sales growth and is making inroads with certain segments of the population. New survey data from Gallup explores the demographic groups who are most likely to be shopping for groceries online.

Overall, 9% of adults report ordering groceries online for pickup or delivery on at least a monthly basis.

That figure jumps to 15% among Millennials (18-29), with above-average usage of online ordering also seen for 30-49-year-olds (12%). In fact, 1 in 10 adults ages 50-64 also report ordering groceries online at least once a month. Dragging down the overall average is the 65+ group, among whom just 2% shop for groceries online with that frequency.

Regional Differences

Gallup’s data indicates that there are some wide discrepancies in online grocery’s popularity by region.

For example, respondents living in the East are more than 3 times as likely as those in the Midwest to shop online for groceries monthly (16% and 5%, respectively).

Locality also plays a role: people living in big or small cities are almost twice as likely as those in the suburbs (8%) or order groceries online and more than twice as likely as those in towns and rural areas (6%) to do so.

Finally, employed adults are nearly twice as likely to order groceries online as are unemployed adults (13% and 7%, respectively), while those with annual income under $30k are the most likely to do so of the various income groups.

Everyone Shops for Groceries in Store

In contrast to e-commerce’s infancy in this space, brick-and-mortar remains entrenched. Virtually all adults surveyed (98%) shop for groceries in-person at a store at least monthly, with the vast majority of those doing so at least once a week.

In-store shopping for groceries is consistently high across demographic groups, ranging from 96-100%. Recent data from Nielsen indicates that grocery store trips have actually increased over the past year.

All told, respondents reported spending a median average of $130 per week on food in July, relatively consistent from $125 5 years earlier. About 1 in 8 (12%) spend $300 or more each week on food.

Last year, for the first time, more money was spent on food away from home (50.2%) than at home (49.8%), according to USDA Food Expenditure data.


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