Report: Pandemic Upended Grocery Shopping Patterns

Retail marketing specialist 84.51° is out with some new research that concludes a new kind of grocery shopper has emerged in the wake of last year’s COVID-19 disruption: the hybrid shopper. 

The Kroger subsidiary did the research to help food marketers prep for the 2021 holiday sales season. In addition to its parent it works with 1,400 consumer packaged goods companies.

It’s no secret that last year saw ecommerce soar as lockdowns and safety concerns spurred grocery shoppers to try pick-up and delivery service — many for the first time ever. Now, even as restrictions lift and people grow more comfortable shopping in-store again, the landscape has changed.

In the “new” normal, the research found, food shoppers who tried ecommerce out of necessity in 2020 will continue to use it, occasionally at least, for convenience — particularly during the busy holiday season. 

The research found two distinct household types: 



The digital champ

  • · Overindex as 3-member households that emphasize high health and high quality
  • · May see ecommerce as part of their healthy lifestyle
  • · Made 14+ shopping trips during 2020 holiday; half of those were ecommerce
  • · Half were digital shoppers during 2019 holiday
  • · Shopped 62 times throughout the year; more than one third of trips were ecommerce
  • · 72% of their grocery holiday spend is ecommerce
  • · Spent 3x more on holiday pickup or delivery than digital dabblers and 2.2x more than all households
  • · Account for 25% of digital households but 61% of spend 

The digital dabbler

  • · Very price sensitive
  • · More likely than digital champs to have a household with 5 or more members
  • · May be looking more for good deals for their larger households
  • · 2–4 online shopping trips with pickup or delivery and 3+ trips in-store during 2020 holidays
  • · Did not shop online during 2019 holiday
  • · Made 16 shopping trips during 2020 holiday; 1/5 were ecommerce
  • · 25% of grocery holiday spend is ecommerce
  • · Made 3.5 digital shopping trips during non-holiday 2020
  • · Account for 14% of digital households but 10% of spend


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