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FMI Survey on Grocery Purchases


The Food Industry Association, previously the FMI, has published U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends:  Finding Value.  This report is based on surveys of 2,000 shoppers and involved their perceptions of price and motivation to purchase.  At the outset, 91 percent of shoppers were concerned over prices and have changed their buying habits to stay within their budgets.  Only 32 percent are buying fewer items with 15 percent reducing purchases of higher-priced organic items.  Concern over inflation appears to be receding, consistent with successive monthly economic data.


Convenience emerged as a clear trend in the survey.  Almost a third of shoppers spend less than 30 minutes preparing home meals. A previous FMI report ascertained that 60 percent of those surveyed spent less than 10 minutes preparing either breakfast or lunch. The trend in convenience is reflected in products offered by retailers. These include meal kits and ready-to-cook or heat prepared meals, evident in the range of center-of-plate and side dishes and their placement in stores. In recent years egg dishes paralleling QSR servings are ubiquitous and favor rapid preparation and minimal clean-up.


Other trends apparent from the responses include a search for value and variety in convenience foods.  Health claims are also important with shoppers selecting low sodium, low fat, minimal processing and fiber as product attributes.