FMI Report Finds Positive Attitude Among Grocery Shoppers Ahead Of Holidays

Arlington, VA — FMI—The Food Industry Association‘s annual U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Tracker: Holidays report finds that despite concerns surrounding the availability and cost of favorite holiday foods because of lingering post-pandemic supply chain and inflation issues, most shoppers plan to celebrate the holidays much the same as they did before the pandemic. However, shopping early and observing relaxed but persistent social distancing measures when getting together with friends and family were mentioned as potential differences.

“Consumers remain aware of pandemic impacts on the supply chain, but most are confident that with some planning they will find their favorite foods at reasonable prices and share traditional menu with loved ones this holiday season,” says Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “Both grocers and consumers have demonstrated tremendous resilience over the last year, and shoppers are excited about a cautious return to normalcy for their holiday gatherings this year.”

The report reveals that while 58 percent of shoppers expressed some concern about being able to purchase groceries they need for holiday meals, that sentiment hasn’t changed since the summer, suggesting consumers aren’t overly concerned with reports of product shortages this winter. To mitigate potential supply chain issues, 18 percent of shoppers indicate they will plan further in advance when shopping for their Thanksgiving meals this year than they usually would.

Despite concerns about inflation, average household grocery spending has held steady at about $144 per week, which is down from the $161 per week witnessed at the height of the pandemic last year, FMI reports.

While most shoppers said they expect to celebrate the holidays the same as before the pandemic, roughly half of shoppers report COVID-19 will have an impact on how they celebrate upcoming holidays, with some noting they plan to hold smaller gatherings, watch events like sports and parades from home, and enforce social distancing rules.

The report also finds that 76 percent of shoppers were satisfied with their primary grocery store’s response to the pandemic, with over half of shoppers trusting their primary food store for helping them stay healthy.