10 Stats About Selling Groceries in the Digital Age

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

market-researchKnowing about the trends in food production and grocery sales can benefit business owners in various ways. Companies that produce foods or beverages can use this data to decide what new products to make or which items need to be retired. Similarly, retailers can use this information to create better marketing campaigns that feature the items or themes that can get consumers to try a brand or store for the first time. Increasingly, customers are researching the brands they use and shopping online for healthy, specialty products. Here are 10 recent statistics about marketing groceries to consumers in the digital age.

  1. A study from Brick Meets Clicks showed that ecommerce is important for grocery retailers now and will grow into the future. eCommerce accounted for about 4% of US grocery sales, or $27B, in 2014. By 2023,  ecommerce could account for up to 17% of grocery sales, according to the researchers.

  2. The Bricks Meet Clicks study also reported that Americans who shop for groceries online once per month do an average of 17% of grocery spending online, compared to 21% for those who shop twice, and 42% for three times or more.

  3. Similarly, 41% of Americans who shop for groceries online do so once per month, compared to 23% for twice, and 36% for three times or more.

  4. A 2014 Nielsen report found that $400B is spent worldwide on snacks each year.

  5. A different study from Nielsen found that middle class families account for a lot of grocery spending. The study reported that households with incomes of $75,000 or more account for 43% of US grocery sales.

  6. L2 released a study earlier this year that showed SEO remains the best source of traffic for US food brands. According to the study, 56% of traffic to US food brand websites is generated by search engines, compared to 19% for direct traffic, 15% for referral, and 9% for social media.

  7. The same study reported a similar trend among beverage websites. The report stated that 47% of traffic to US beverage brand websites is generated by search engines, compared to 29% for direct traffic, 17% for referral, and 6% for social media.

  8. Grocers that are trying to reach millennials should try to stock healthier, more natural foods. Nielsen reported that 70% of millennials shop for foods at specialty retailers that sell a wide variety of health foods.

  9. The same study also found that 76% of global consumers are willing to pay more for foods that promote health benefits.

  10. The Nielsen study also showed that health concerns will shape buying habits in the near future. The researchers reported that 41% of global consumers plan to buy more fruit in the next 6 months, compared to 39% for vegetables, 25% for seafood, and 24% for yogurt.

The growing importance of healthy foods is something that brands and retailers should take seriously. Much of food production in the last century was focused on producing more foods and processing them so they could be shipped to distant locations or easily prepared by people in a hurry. Now that research has shown the health benefits of eating healthier, less processed foods, coupled with the fact that it’s easier to get fresh foods in the city, consumers are paying more attention to the food products they buy. Getting ahead of this change by offering healthier products and letting consumers know about it through marketing can help build a brand into the 21st Century.

For more information about food marketing, read this article with 10 stats about the food and beverage industry from 2014.

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