Food retailers are hanging on to the advantage they gained over restaurateurs in share of stomach during the pandemic, according to the latest annual report from the Food Marketing Institute.
Food retail retained an edge of 12 percentage points over foodservice in March, the latest month available. That gap was 40 percentage points at its widest, in April 2020.
For context, restaurants had been gaining share of stomach steadily for 30 years, surpassing retail stores about six years ago.
“Throughout this past year, American grocery consumers have developed a deeper relationship with their kitchens, increased their healthy eating consciousness, and have learned new ways to shop,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said.
The report, “U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2021,” states that 58% of shoppers report eating more at home and nearly half (49%) report cooking or preparing their own meals more than before the pandemic. It also notes that nearly two-thirds of shoppers have at least tried buying groceries online.