Press Room

FMI and Nielsen Release First Set of Findings on the Digitally Engaged Food Shopper

Jan. 30, 2017 – Arlington, Va./ New York, NY – Serving as a resource for retailers and manufacturers as the industry embarks on the next digital frontier, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today released a preview of its “Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” analysis at the FMI Midwinter Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. The introductory set of insights from this joint, multi-year initiative offer a comprehensive look into the behaviors, motivations and expectations of the digitally engaged food shopper. This first perspective offers recommendations on how food marketers and manufacturers should be preparing their strategies and managing the organizational change that will be required to engage those shoppers.

Initial findings from this study show that within the next decade, online food shopping will reach maturation in the U.S., far faster than other industries that have come online before. Research also revealed that the center store is likely to shift online faster than other departments, suggesting a fundamental evaluation of the role the store plays in digital food shopping. The research estimates that in the current climate of technology adoption and evolution, consumer spend on online grocery shopping could reach $100 billion*. To put that into context, that is the equivalent of 3,900 grocery stores based on store volume.

“While we are more connected than ever to influence what shoppers buy, the window to influence those moments is narrowing,” said Mark Baum, chief collaboration officer at FMI. “FMI and its members will need to seize the opportunity to harness new skills and collaborate more seamlessly than ever before to effectively reach these digitally savvy food shoppers. We’re building the tools to help our members assess where they are in their connected commerce strategies.”

“The grocery business truly is at a digital tipping point, where every aspect of the shopper’s journey will soon be influenced by digital, and increasingly enabled by digital platforms,” said Chris Morley, President of U.S. Buy at Nielsen. “The need for retailers and manufacturers to know the differences around how consumers shop online versus in-store is greater than ever before.  Analytics will be key for retailers and manufacturers to understand the digitally engaged food shopper on a deeper level.  Beyond unified insights that connect the dots across consumer interaction and platforms, the winning strategy will turn metrics into action steps towards effective digital engagement.”

Key findings of the research:

  1. Multi-channel shopping: More shoppers are buying more of their groceries across channels. In fact, 23% of American households are buying food online today. This upward trend continues – of those that will buy online, 60% expect to spend over a quarter of their food dollars online in ten years.
  2. Digital Experimentation: Grocery retailers and manufacturers are meaningfully experimenting with business models and technologies to find their way online. However, the road to success has not been paved.
  3. Grocery Saturation: Grocery shopping will reach digital maturity and saturation faster than other industries before, such as publishing or banking.
  4. Center Store Migration: Center store categories are already migrating online and this migration is expected to continue.
  5. Young & Digital: Younger, newer and more engaged digital shoppers adopt grocery related digital technologies more quickly and will hasten the expansion of digital grocery shopping further.

With grocery as the next big retail sector that will be reshaped by digital, retailers and manufacturers need the tools to realize their connected commerce readiness in order to meet the needs of the digital food shopper. An FMI and Nielsen online assessment enables them to assess six areas that are most important to online grocery shoppers: trust, value, experience, assortment, convenience and personalization.

The “Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” study is part of a strategic alliance and multi-year initiative with FMI and Nielsen to uncover comprehensive insights on current and future digital shopping behaviors within the food retail marketplace.

*Estimation of online grocery spend is inclusive of food + beverage and CPG products, only.

About FMI

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the U.S. and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

CONTACTS

Nielsen: Genevieve Aronson: [email protected], (646) 654-5742
FMI: Heather Garlich: [email protected], (202) 220-0616