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Trend Watch: Does Co-Shopping Increase Food & Beverage Sales?

09 Jan 2017 Ann D'Adamo

in Food & Beverage

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In the past, households typically had one shopper who managed grocery shopping—and it was usually mom! Today, modern families share the responsibility, resulting in a shift from a primary shopper to a shared shopper paradigm. Although not all households share shopping equally (45% say that one person does most of it), 58% of American multi-person households use co-shopping strategies to get the grocery buying done.

Co-Shopping: The Millennial Norm

Co-shopping is less about a rational approach to shopping and more about the exploration of new foods, so it makes sense that 91% of multi-adult households with young Millennials (ages 18-27) share responsibility for shopping. Eighty-one percent of shoppers say they occasionally purchase items that aren’t on the list and more than half go “off list” regularly. Younger households co-shop to engage with food, explore new products and brands, and meet their personal needs such as special diets or food preferences. For these consumers, having more than one person partake in grocery shopping allows for more fun and exploration, reduces negotiation, and ultimately, this may result in more incremental sales for the retailer.

The Shared Shopping Spectrum

If you’re the primary cook, chances are, you’re also the primary shopper—80% of people who take full responsibility for weekday dinners are also the primary shoppers. But for those families who cook meals together, 44% also share responsibility for grocery shopping. As more women remain in the workforce after starting a family, the labor force inside the home is also changing—men are taking on 30% more of the household chores today than in the past. Why? Forty-two percent of men agree that it’s simply a matter of fairness, one person shouldn’t have to do it all!

But the reason behind co-shopping may not be completely altruistic; sometimes it’s just a matter of convenience. More than a third say whomever is closer to the store does the shopping, while another third say that whomever is less pressed for time or has more flexibility in their schedule will make the trip. But there’s another motivator that’s purely personal—33% say they do their own shopping because they have different tastes in food. These shoppers want to contribute to the household while making sure they are getting exactly what they want.

Negotiating the Grocery List

When it’s up to one person to make the majority of the shopping decisions, the process is rather efficient. Products and brands are selected based solely on one person’s preference. But shared shopping requires a little more planning—or at the very least, a series of texts from the grocery store (35% of consumers do this!). In addition to the standard weekly grocery items such as milk and eggs, 50% of co-shoppers say they discuss the list prior to shopping and 43% of households maintain an ongoing grocery list.

The Challenges

Families overwhelmingly say that co-shopping works well for them—72% agree that the process works very well for their household. Still, 28% say that co-shopping has its challenges. A third say they spend more money than they should, and a quarter of shoppers say their partner frequently chooses the wrong brand, version, or item. This can be tricky territory for partners with different shopping priorities who need to balance household needs, such as getting the weekly staples and managing the budget, with those who enjoy spontaneous spending and for whom shopping is fun.

As shopper behaviors evolve, brands need to re-evaluate their media strategies to reach a wider range of consumers. Women’s Marketing offers a suite of marketing services to reach consumers at the moments that matter most. Contact us today to learn more about today’s shopper and how to reach them.

Source: Hartman Group, FMI U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2016

Food & Beverage