LIVE FROM FMI: Continued Evolution in Shopper Behavior

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President/CEO Leslie G. Sarasin presented the Arlingon, Va.-based organization's annual "U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2014" report, which reveals changing consumer behaviors affecting food retail, at this year's FMI Connect show held in Chicago.

Conducted in collaboration with the Bellevue, Wash.-based Hartman Group, this year's report revealed that supermarkets have returned to a 54 percent level of channel share, supercenters are down to 22 percent, and each of the other categories, such as discount and specialty, are 1 percent lower than the year prior.

“Clearly, the traditional supermarket picked up a few points in all that movement, but what is most interesting is the leap in the number of people who claim they have no primary store," Sarasin said. "When FMI first started listing this option in 2011, only two percent said they had no primary store. This year, nine percent claim no primary store.”

The study not only revealed a heightened reliance on multiple stores, but also an increasing fragmentation of shopping responsibilities within the American household, noted Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, Inc.

“Drawing upon ethnographic research into U.S. food consumption," Demeritt continued, "we found that the convenient, formerly helpful idea of a 'primary shopper'- a single adult responsible for, and at least knowledgeable about, a household's grocery purchases - no longer does justice to how American households manage their food purchases today.”

This year's report identifies and explores five major industry trends: diversification of the “primary store” as a touchstone of shopper behavior; fragmentation of the “primary shopper” role within households; generational transformation in what “planning” means to food shoppers; re-orientation of consumer attitudes around wellness; and the opportunity for food retailers to become allies in helping shoppers navigate food and wellness.

A copy of the full report is available at

FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds