Our new report Food Sourcing in America 2022 examines how consumers traverse today’s hybrid world of in-store and online grocery shopping as well as the changing foodservice landscape. The report analyzes the cultural shifts that are impacting aspirations and behaviors and while factors such as COVID-19 and safety still impact shopping, inflation is a significant influence on food and beverage decisions.

THG Food Sourcing in America 2022 Report Cover

Food Sourcing in America 2022 is our sixth syndicated project dedicated to food and beverage procurement and builds on a long line of research that examines both in-person and digital food procurement in terms of both grocery shopping and use of foodservice.

The report finds that cultural drivers— who we are, where we live, what we do, how we connect, what we value— are constantly shifting in modern society, informing and shaping food lives, including how we shop. 

Modern food and beverage procurement occurs in a wide variety of ways both online and in person, and shoppers expect to move fluidly across shopping methods and channels.

Report highlights include:

  • In the semi-post COVID-19 environment, shoppers are returning en masse to shop in person in food retailers, while at the same time embracing a permanent shift to use of online grocery services: 99% of shoppers in our study say they’ve shopped in a grocery store in the past 30 days, and 63% say they shopped online in the past 30 days.

  • Shoppers are cutting back in different ways on food shopping due to the effects of inflation and depending on demographics: While inflation impacts everyone, those at lower income levels are the ones who have had to rethink how they live, what they buy, and how they shop. Among shoppers who say they’ve noticed rising prices, behavioral changes are most likely among those in lower-income households where almost half (47%) note that they have had to rethink how they shop for groceries compared to just one-quarter (25%) of upper-income households.

  • Shoppers are mostly channel-agnostic, and they use multiple stores and multiple shopping methods to fulfill their needs. However, Mass and Grocery are the leading retail channels for food and beverage procurement, and Mass is now a bona fide food and beverage store in shoppers' minds. Though this was not always the case, Mass now competes more strongly with Grocery.

  • Despite feeling economically constrained, shoppers are still sourcing from foodservice although they are trading down from full-service to fast-casual and QSR restaurants on some occasions. Shoppers rely on fresh prepared foods from retail, but they view these offerings as non-equivalent with restaurant foods and beverages, so fresh prepared foods from retail tend to compete with restaurants only on functional (e.g., too tired to cook) or price-sensitive (e.g., feeding a crowd) occasions.

What’s Next?

Stay tuned for further report highlights as we unpack consumer behavior surrounding food shopping and sourcing as well as explore external factors that are impacting today’s food journeys.

Food Sourcing in America 2022 provides a comprehensive understanding of shopping behavior at the broad level of landscape and culture as well as at the level of channel and retailer, including:

  • Basic shopping behaviors and habits
  • Cultural context and shopping trip dynamics
  • Role of online and foodservice in the hybrid shopping environment
  • Product discovery in the hybrid world
  • Budget management while mitigating inflation
  • Channel engagement, perceptions, and performance as well as channel and retailer profiles

You can learn more about the Food Sourcing in America 2022 report by downloading an overview with chapter highlights and order form here.

Learn more about how Hartman’s syndicated reports can be an essential resource to help you navigate the way forward in these uncertain times. Contact: blaine@hartman-group.com