More Americans turning to online food shopping this holiday season

There are many factors in play, but more and more Americans are looking to complete their holiday food shopping list with online shopping.

"Consumers have shifted their behavior with 58 percent snacking more since COVID-19, and shopping through new channels with online adoption up 40 percent," said Mike Del Pozzo, senior vice president of sales and chief customer officer, Frito-Lay North America. "This holiday season we expect to see more small gatherings and a move away from potlucks, which means more families purchasing the whole meal. In fact, 13 percent expect to spend more on groceries for Thanksgiving this year, so the importance of offering variety and accessibility of America's favorite snacks is a priority for Frito-Lay this holiday season."

Additional market trends and U.S. Snack Index highlights show:

300+ percent increase in Americans who plan to shop for holiday foods through an online retailer versus last year.

Maintaining health and safety is a top concern (37 percent) for grocery shopping this holiday season, driving more consumers to adopt online grocery shopping.

In fact, 50 percent of Americans plan to shop for their holiday groceries through an online retailer, up from just 15 percent in 2019.

Snacks are the most likely category to be purchased online for the holidays, with 77% of consumers saying they are likely to do so.

While holidays will look different, food will continue to play a major role.

Most Americans (83 percent) plan to spend the same or more on groceries during the holidays.

Americans are shopping earlier for holiday groceries. One in five plans to shop over three days earlier than last year to avoid crowds or out-of-stocks (IRI).

Holiday gatherings will be much smaller this year: the median number of people at the main Thanksgiving meal is expected to be five this year, down from eight last year (IRI).

When it comes to what's on the holiday spreads, Chicagoans ranked sweet snacks first at 61 percent, San Franciscans preferred chips and dips (58 percent) and over half of Miamians (54 percent) are planning to serve cheese and meat platters.

Consumers are stocking up on snacks more than ever before.

-66 percent of survey respondents say they keep more snacks stocked at home than before the pandemic. -This winter, 54 percent of shoppers are planning to stock up on essentials, with salty snacks the number five category consumers are looking to stockpile. -The reason for stocking up right now? 66 percent are concerned about products being out of stock and 58 percent want to reduce exposure to the virus. -One main reason why consumers are putting more snacks in their pantries is to add a little more fun to the days at home. 63 percent of survey respondents said they snack as a way to break up their day and 76 percent said eating snacks is a way to treat themselves. -Dips have become an increasingly popular snack. Frito-Lay reports a 16 percent increase in the purchase of dips year over year, with consumers citing convenience/not needing to make it from scratch as the primary reason for purchase.

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© 2016 Rick Limpert and Wireless Wednesday Live

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