More consumers buy groceries from big box stores, pharmacies

February 21, 2014

Retail design firm King Retail Solutions (KRS), in conjunction with the University of Arizona Center for Retailing, released the results of a four-part study that shows the changing face of the retail industry and shoppers’ evolving attitudes towards where they will shop for groceries and fresh meals. The researchers surveyed 1,200 U.S. Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer shoppers (both male and female) on their past shopping habits, their current shopping attitudes, their decision making factors, and their top preferred retailers (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Costco topped the list in each category), all as relates to purchasing these types of goods from a non-traditional source (e.g., purchasing a fresh meal from a pharmacy).

The results show that 77% of consumers bought groceries from a non-grocer in 2013. Even more telling, 96% of those surveyed said they will be buying groceries from places other than grocery stores in 2014. Target and Walmart topped the list of the 20 most popular places to buy groceries that aren’t traditional supermarkets. The wealthier the shopper, the more likely he or she is to buy groceries from Target, Walmart, or another of these non-grocers. In the past 12 months, 83% of those making $150,000+ reported having shopped for groceries at a big box store, convenience store, or other such retailer. However, 73% those surveyed making less than $25,000 still shopped for groceries outside of a supermarket. The main reasons? Price and convenience topped the list of motivating factors for shopping at non-grocers for groceries.

When asked what grocery items they are purchasing from a non-grocer, 59% respondents said canned goods, followed by 54% dairy, 49% bread, 42% fresh fruit/veggies, 38% frozen food, and 22% said meat.