Grocers Targeting In-​the-​Moment Shoppers

Findings from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) indicate that younger shoppers are relying less on making lists before they head out to the store. While 50% of Boomers are in the habit of shopping to stock their pantries, 37% of Millennials consider what they need right before shopping. The Gen Y shoppers are also building their lists around the needs for one particular recipe. To satisfy these shoppers, more stores are designing apps which are socially engaging, economically relevant and personally pertinent.

Younger consumers also report they are far less likely to hold their meal schedules to 3 events a day. Many Gen Y shoppers enjoy snacking and may eat 5 or 6 smaller meals a day.  In addition, about 25% of meals that Gen Y consumers eat are made with ingredients purchased on the same day.  These trends mean that personalized promotions, especially those delivered through a mobile device, may help grocery stores increase same-​day foot traffic and loyalty.

Supermarkets can take comfort in knowing that 91% of consumers trust them to provide safe food. At the same time, consumers are looking for partners to help them achieve health and wellness goals. 43% of shoppers say their food stores fill that role. Supermarkets should know that their clients value the following aspects in the food they buy:


  • Minimally processed 28%
  • Contain familiar ingredients 26%
  • Local grown 25%
  • Short ingredient list 25%


Consumers admit to regularly shopping 2.5 food channels ranging from supermarkets (85%) to supercenters (46%) to ethnic food stores (5%). In the past 5 years, shoppers have boosted sales at the premium markets by 17% and the value-​focused markets by 12%. Value shoppers are deliberately seeking to economize while up-​scale shoppers want better quality and more choices. This shift pressures the middle-​market operators who have seen their base dwindle. Many of these operators may decide to shift their market position to target either value or up-​scale shoppers and their marketing efforts will likely change as well.

About 6.8% of U.S. adults shop for groceries more than 5 times a week. As the FMI study suggests, many of these consumers are younger. According to AudienceSCAN data, about 57% are below are 35.  The consumers over-​index in their intent to visit a party store and to purchase a home audio or stereo system in the next year,  details which suggest they enjoy cooking and entertaining. Food marketers may want to target these consumers with ads in mobile smartphone apps, text messages or ads on a social network. These consumers are more likely than average to have taken action as a result of seeing these types of ads in the past 30 days.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.