CivicScience | Grocery Delivery Could Explode

General, Retail, Technology

Grocery Delivery Could Explode

Image Credit: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If there’s one item on every household’s to-do list, it’s grocery shopping. Regardless of who you are or how you live, groceries are likely a regular part of your routine. And for years, the only way to grocery shop was in person. 

In recent years, grocery delivery services such as Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, and others have begun disrupting the age-old routine of grocery shopping. Allowing consumers to simply select items online and have those items delivered–usually within a certain time frame on a scheduled day–grocery delivery provides a convenient way to cross off what is for some the most dreaded chore of the week. 

So, is grocery delivery taking off? CivicScience checked back in with the state of this niche food service to see just how things have evolved since the spring of last year

Grocery Delivery Is Not So Niche

As it turns out, the percentage of people who have used and liked grocery delivery has increased. As of this year, 12% of U.S. adults have used and liked these services, which is up 50% from last year, and 16% are planning to give it a try. 

Of those who like grocery delivery the most, the largest demographic is adults aged 18-24. This is a shift from last year, when enthusiasm about the services was split among age groups. While the youngest adults lead the way in adopting this tool, those aged 35-54 lead with intent.

And when comparing two of the more popular grocery delivery services, it’s clear that Amazon has captured the attention and interest from more potential customers.

Price vs. Convenience

While interest in grocery delivery does correlate with age, it also correlates with income. As it stands, those who earn the most are also the most likely to have already used the service, and those who earn the least are naturally the least likely to have used it. 

This makes sense given that markup and delivery fees generally cost shoppers more per shop than going to a store and picking up the items themselves. But with such high participation from Gen Z (often the lowest earners), it’s obviously worth the cost for generations who rely on immediate gratification and saving time. But what about the large intent from older age groups?

Those who have already used and liked grocery store delivery happen to be big fans of specialty stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. However, the greatest interest comes from those who shop at stores known for lower prices, such as Sam’s Club and Walmart. This echoes the data around price, suggesting that there is plenty of room for expansion in the direction of affordable, accessible stores. 

Grocery delivery companies would be wise to keep an eye on price. Doing so could help them tap into a large group of interested consumers as long as they can strike the right balance between convenience and affordability.

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