There may be one barrier insurmountable to online food retailing: the emotional connection to in-store shopping.

Bellevue, WA — October 30, 2017: While online shopping in general is growing, it isn’t the main shopping channel for the majority of food shopping occasions. And the biggest barrier to online grocery shopping is simply enjoying shopping in person — among the 71 percent of consumers who haven’t placed an order online for grocery items in the past three months, almost half (48 percent) said the main reason was that they enjoy shopping in person more, a key finding from The Hartman Group’s Food Shopping in America 2017 report.

Online shopping for foods and beverages has been steadily growing since 2012. According to The Hartman Group, a leading consultancy helping clients achieve demand-driven growth: in 2017, 29 percent of shoppers ordered food online in the past three months compared to 23 percent in 2014 and 18 percent in 2012.

“As our Food Shopping in America 2017 report finds, providing food for the household is an expression of love, care and nurturance for self and others,” says Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. “It is because of this that for many consumers, shopping for groceries is something much more than a chore — it is an act of love.”

While today’s consumers are omnichannel shoppers, brick-and-mortar grocery remains the most used channel, with 86 percent having shopped it in the last 30 days. Grocery serves as a convenient generalist, but growing use of emerging channels threatens it on both convenience and selection.

The online grocery channel and its key shopper demographics — younger consumers and parents — make it poised for further growth, but the channel will have to overcome significant barriers like perceptions of poor selection and inconvenience to attract more online food shoppers.

About Food Shopping in America 2017 Report

As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. Food Shopping in America 2017 answers the question: with more options than ever before, including an expanding array of online food retailers, how do consumers shop for food today?

About The Hartman Group

The Hartman Group is at the leading edge of demand-side food and beverage strategy. As CEO, Laurie drives the vision, strategy, operations and results-oriented culture for the company's associates as The Hartman Group furthers its offerings of tactical thinking, consumer and market intelligence, cultural competency and innovative intellectual capital to a global marketplace.

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