Making the list a key for food manufacturers

by Keith Nunes
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CHICAGO — Most U.S. households make their retail food purchasing decisions before they enter the grocery store and few are making impulse buys, according to “Before the store,” a new report by the market research firm The NPD Group. Ninety-four per cent of U.S. households prepare a written shopping list before grocery shopping and 72% of shoppers told NPD that they never or only occasionally buy items not on the list.

“For food and beverage manufacturers and retailers, it’s all about getting on the list,” said Ann Hanson, executive director of product development and author of the report. “With so many purchasing decisions being made at home where meals are being planned and shopping lists assembled, it’s important to focus on the consumer at home before they leave for the store.”

Although the woman of the household tends to have the primary responsibility of grocery shopping and meal planning, the grocery list preparation appears to be a family affair. Sixty per cent of married and family households report contributions from other family members. Among younger households, a spouse is more likely to contribute to the household shopping list when children are not present; whereas children provide input to the shopping list in nearly 40% of family households.

The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends survey, which tracks all aspects of Americans’ eating behaviors, shows that 81% of U.S. consumers eat dinner at home, and according to “Before the Store” most households plan these meals in advance.

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