New report by The Hartman Group finds that consumers shop a variety of channels, with each catering to specific needs based on trip type, category selection, experience, or safety.
Bellevue, WA — Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Americans have altered their meal planning and adapted their shopping strategies and behaviors as they have learned to cope with the realities of the times. 
According to The Hartman Group’s new Food Sourcing in America July/August 2020 report, given safety concerns and measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, consumers have adapted their shopping approaches to best suit their needs and personal risk assessment. 
“With the proliferation of shopping options beyond basic in-store trips and online orders, consumers select among those approaches and adapt the frequency, location, and methods of shopping to suit their comfort level,” said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group, a leading consumer research and consulting firm. “One of the most common tactics is to strive to consolidate trips, though many continue to visit multiple stores on a given outing.”
While combining their trips, many consumers rely on a broad range of channels for their shopping needs. “This reflects a desire to still leverage the special strengths of each channel to get the products they need or want,” noted Demeritt. 
The report finds that while grocery and mass merchandise channels are used most frequently, channels like club, specialty/natural, and online cater to consumer needs around stocking up, procuring specific harder-to-find items, and avoiding stores entirely. While consumers may have particular channel preferences for these different needs, they are now more likely than ever to stock up at smaller retailers in an attempt to maximize the utility of each shopping trip, even if it means spending a little more.
A stand-alone chapter in the report is dedicated to online shopping, including a look across different online food procurement strategies and online shoppers who are new to grocery shopping online as a result of the pandemic.
About Food Sourcing in America July/August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented disruptions to how consumers procure food, including disturbances to the supply chain, changes to how they plan their shopping trips and physically move through the store, and meteoric rise of online shopping paired with a sudden interruption to restaurant dining. The Hartman Group’s Food Sourcing in America July/August 2020 report takes an in-depth look at these changes to help food industry professionals understand the current landscape of food procurement and make viable predictions about the future. Learn more
About The Hartman Group
Since 1989, The Hartman Group has been translating consumer behavior and food culture into strategic growth opportunities for our clients. We are 100 percent focused on the food and beverage marketplace and our clients’ interests. We deliver smart, strategic, and tactical advice, engaging collaborative experiences, and comprehensive research and analysis that lead to positive outcomes for our clients. For more information, visit 
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Blaine Becker, Sr. Director of Marketing
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