Consumers Cut Down Grocery Trips but Still Overspend

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Consumers Cut Down Grocery Trips but Still Overspend

By Thad Rueter - 10/13/2020
Consumers Cut Down Grocery Trips but Still Overspend
U.S. consumers now spend $190 per week on groceries, up 17% from before the pandemic.

Consumers are making fewer trips to the grocery story but are spending more, according to new LendingTree data that offers one of the most recent views of food retail trends during the pandemic.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based online lending marketplace found that U.S. consumers now spend $190 per week on groceries, up 17% from $163 before the pandemic. That said, 25% of consumers they are talking fewer shopping trips now. More specifically, 51% of men and 49% of women are the taking fewer shopping trips.

Parents overspend most often, and also shop more frequently due to the pandemic than non-parents. To make up for it, 54% are couponing more frequently, and 60% say they visit multiple stores in search of sales items.

LendingTree asked more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S. about how their grocery shopping behavior and spending has changed.

The surveys also found that:

  • Nearly a third of respondents (31%) say they “almost always” overspend at the grocery store. Men (44%) are twice as likely as women (20%) to exceed their food budget. Among the different age groups, Gen Xers (59%) were most likely to say they always make a list and stick to it, yet are also most likely to say they almost always overspend.
  • More than half (53%) of respondents say they hit up multiple grocery stores per shopping trip. For example, they head to wholesale stores for bulk items and then the supermarket for everyday needs.
  • To cut down on shopping trips, 63% of consumers order food delivery at least once a week. Generation X orders delivery the most – 86% do so at least once per week, and of that group, 21% do so three or more times.

The pandemic also has led to new food retail spending trends.

According to the report:

  • Gen X consumers (57%) are spending more on alcohol than other groups, and men (48%) outnumber women (19%) when it comes to adult-beverage buying.
  • Parents with children under 18 were most likely to say they are spending more on baking items (42%) and cereal (48%).
  • Paper goods and toilet paper was the category that people were most likely to increase spending on (selected by 43% of all survey takers).