Survey: Food trips to nontraditional stores on rise

New York City -- A survey released Thursday by consumer research firm AlixPartners found that 51% of consumers visit traditional supermarkets for their grocery shopping, while 30% shop mass merchants such as Walmart for groceries. Drug stores pull 5% of grocery shoppers, as do dollar stores.

According to the AlixPartners Grocery Shopper Preferences Survey, of all grocery spending, the lowest-income shoppers are purchasing only 45% of their groceries at grocery stores, with mass merchandisers capturing 38% of total spending from these consumers. The highest-income shoppers (those with incomes of $100,000 and above) purchase most (56%) of their groceries at grocery stores, and club stores capture 17% of this group’s grocery spending.

“The battle with mass merchandisers, club stores and dollar stores has been dragging on for years, but it’s heating up and traditional grocery retailers are losing ground,” said Russ Jones, director in AlixPartners’ Global Retail Practice. “Shoppers are more willing than ever to try new venues -- and, unfortunately for traditional grocery stores, many shoppers are finding a better fit elsewhere.”

The average shopper makes 1.8 trips per week to pick up groceries. Some 70% of consumers are making trips to the grocery store at least once per week, and 50% plan to spend more on groceries in the coming year while 39% expect to spend the same amount.