Online Grocery Shoppers Skew Younger, Male: NPD Report

While 52 million Americans currently shop online for their groceries, they are more likely to skew younger and male, according to new research from The NPD Group, based in Port Washington, N.Y.

NPD's new report, “The Virtual Grocery Store,” notes that men are more likely to think of grocery shopping as a “necessary evil,” and that online grocery helps take the sting out of the process. Additionally, many younger adults are delaying such life events as marriage and starting families. This could explain why more than 40 percent of primary grocery shoppers are men, and that 60 percent of men age 18 to 44 have purchased groceries online.

“Men tend to make grocery shopping a mission and spend less time in brick-and-mortar stores compared to women,” NPD noted. “Men will also buy fewer items on each trip and will likely leave the store if they can’t find an item. … For these reasons, online shoppers are disproportionately men who are looking to avoid physical trips to the store.”

Members of’s Prime subscription program – which provides free two-day delivery on products and access to AmazonFresh grocery delivery subscriptions, among other amenities – also comprise a large online grocery shopping group, the report finds. And with 31 million households subscribing to the service, it makes sense that 52 percent of Prime members shop for groceries online.

Another large online grocery shopping group is Amazon Prime members. Since some 31 million households have an Amazon Prime membership or access to one, it makes sense that 52 percent ofAmazon prime members shop for groceries online. Amazon already dominates online grocery shopping; add in the quick delivery benefit that comes with an Amazon Prime membership, and it’s an offer too good to refuse. 

“Although online grocery shopping lags other ecommerce industries in terms of development, it is growing and the groups that are the most active online grocery shoppers are large,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst.  “Now is the time to start developing test programs if you lack an ecommerce program, or to expand your current services. Keep in mind: It’s about saving consumers time using an online presence for them to get the foods and beverages they’re accustomed to consuming.”

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