As more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine, US grocers are gradually returning to store, a new study by Inmar Intelligence has found.
Once fully vaccinated, 27% of consumers said they plan to do their grocery store in-store, while 38% will do so in-store and online, Inmar said Tuesday.
Inmar, from Winston-Salem, NC, noted that food shoppers are already returning to body stores. The study found that 33% of U.S. consumers now buy their groceries in stores, while 48% of respondents make brick and mortar and online purchases as hybrid shoppers, which also means “consistent return to normalcy” and a high level of comfort, shop in store.
“When vaccines become so widespread, it is natural for today’s shoppers to go back to the store as part of their grocery store routine,” said Spencer Baird, Inmar’s managing vice president and head of its Martech division. “Most consumers are familiar with the in-store shopping experience – browsing and discovering new products – and there are some products that shoppers want to buy in store.”
Interestingly, 51% of respondents said they plan to store groceries throughout the year, with Inmar providing data-driven technology services for retailers and manufacturers. In embracing this long-standing “be prepared” mentality, 38% of those who voted aim to store toilet paper, cleaners, hand sanitizers, food and alcohol, as millions of Americans did in the early months of the corona virus crisis.
Despite the store’s appeal to the grocery store, consumers have not given up on online shopping. Forty-one percent of respondents have been ordered to distribute or pick up groceries online in the past six months. However, online grocery faces some hurdles, Inmar discovered. Voters voted that the main barriers to online grocery delivery were delivery surcharge (18%), quality of groceries delivered (16%) and delivery time slot availability (14%).
Americans are also eager to return to food. As more restaurants and bars reopen, 85% of consumers said they plan to eat more often, including indoor or outdoor food, Inmar said.
“When consumers go back to the p store fire shop, they plan to continue storing everyday items, which indicates the importance of long-term readiness,” Baird added. “Retailers need to be prepared for this long-term transition, not just in terms of stocks, but to provide today’s hybrid shoppers with a seamless ubiquitous experience at a wide variety of touch points.
Consumers are wary of returning to normal
Inmar’s findings are also reflected in New York-based market researcher GFK North America’s latest consumer pulse data.
Among U.S. consumers, Gfk reports that an average of 35% of people who visit the COVID-19 vaccine have visited supermarkets and grocery stores, while 38% have visited restaurants more frequently. The percentage of people aged 26 to 35 is significantly higher: 52% are more likely to visit supermarkets / grocery stores after being vaccinated for COVID, and 51% are more likely to visit restaurants.
Overall, 57% of those surveyed said they were cautious about going back to normal activities, compared to 21% who said they “could not wait to get out and do what they were missing”. Surprisingly, 64% of those who were vaccinated said they were careful, and 55% of those who were not vaccinated.
Sixty-one percent of consumers report being vaccinated and living as if they had lived before the infection, compared to 49% of those vaccinated against the corona virus. Among consumers who claim to be living normally now, 42% of those who have not been vaccinated say they have been doing so throughout the epidemic, while 53% of vaccinated consumers have started living that way within the past two months.
As of the morning of April 27, 42.7% of the U.S. population had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 29.1% were fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. In adults, 54.2% received at least one dose and 37.3% were fully vaccinated. Overall, 232.4 million of the 297.5 million vaccines administered by manufacturers were administered.