Navigating The Aisles— What is ‘Essential’ Drives Changes in Grocery Trends

“Essential” is now at the heart of the grocery experience. 

The grocery experience looks very different than it did in the spring of 2020. As more Americans get vaccinated and receive booster shots, and in-store foot traffic continues to rebuild, grocers face major obstacles, including labor shortages and supply chain challenges. It’s also become more apparent which pandemic-related habits and expectations are here to stay. We think shoppers will keep planning their buying in advance, prioritizing flexibility in ordering and fulfillment, and considering convenience in terms of availability (information and product) and value (store and price). 

While we no longer wait impatiently in blocks-long lines to buy scarce essentials like toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizers, what shoppers find essential and valuable continues to evolve alongside the uncertain COVID-19 landscape. In response to the ambiguity of the current market ecosystem, grocery retailers are leaning into creative omnichannel options, allowing shoppers to feel more comfortable with alternative shopping methods and digital e-commerce technologies. 

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