Online Grocery Shopping Continues Ascent; Meal Kits Not So Much

September 20, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | CPG & FMCG | Demographics & Audiences | Food & Restaurants | Household Income | Industries | Youth & Gen X

One of the areas most impacted by the pandemic was groceries: data from a Gallup survey reveals that the percentage of Americans who ordered groceries online at least once a month more than doubled between 2019 (11%) and 2021 (23%). This trend, which was largely appealing to youth, now seems attractive to a slightly older demographic, per Gallup’s data.

The research indicates that the trend towards online grocery shopping has not abated in the US. Some 28% of respondents this year reported ordering groceries online for pickup or delivery at least once a month, up from 23% last year. This is more than triple the proportion from 5 years ago (9%).

Online grocery shopping is more common among higher-income than lower-income households: 37% of respondents with annual household income (HHI) of at least $100K reported doing so at least monthly, about twice the proportion of those with annual HHI of less than $40K (19%).

Interestingly, 35-54-year-olds were more likely than 18-34-year-olds to report online grocery shopping at least monthly (41% and 35%, respectively). This practice is also more common among those with a child under 18 (43%) than among those without a kid (22%).

Other ways of getting food remain much more popular, though. Virtually all (97%) adults grocery shop in person at least once a month, a figure unchanged from last year and pre-pandemic’s 2019. There has been a rebound in the percentage who dine at restaurants with that frequency: while that figure dropped to 74% last year from 87% pre-pandemic (2019), this year it has jumped back to 83%. About half dine out at least once a week.

There has been less variance in ordering takeout or delivery from a restaurant: this year 72% of adults do so at least once a month, down slightly from last year’s 74%, but up from 2019’s 70%. Ordering food for takeout or delivery from a restaurant is more popular among higher- than lower-income respondents, and likewise among those with kids than those without. However, 18-34-year-olds are more apt to do so at least monthly than their 35-54-year-olds counterparts (89% and 82%, respectively).

As for meal kits, which seemed to be a growing trend a few years ago? They haven’t caught on much. Only 8% of adults this year report ordering meal preparation kits at least monthly, which is up from 6% last year, but is less of a rise from 2019’s 7%. The growth is more apparent when going back to 2018, when only 4% ordered them with that frequency, but even so, these services remain limited to a fraction of the population.

About the Data: The 2022 results are based on telephone interviews conducted in July with a random sample of 1,013 US adults (18+).

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