Grocery stores: a thing of the past


Taylor Schmitz

A Shipt membership costs $14 a month or $99 a year and provides same-day delivery on orders over $35.

Taylor Schmitz, Entertainment Editor

Product shortages, lack of cleanliness, untimeliness, impulse purchases and anxiety are just some of the contributing factors that have Americans avoiding their routine trip to the grocery store.

According to a Hello Fresh study, 68% of shoppers have reconsidered their food buying habits, specifically the amount they rely on grocery stores. This newfound hesitance toward the stores has been made worse due to COVID-19. Even those who still remain loyal to grocery stores have cut the length of their usual grocery trip by almost 10 minutes since the pandemic began. This could be due to product shortages caused by the pandemic or the desire to minimize exposure to a possible infection.

In addition to COVID-19, the development of different ways to get food has made grocery stores less popular. 64% of shoppers from the Hello Fresh survey have ordered groceries to be delivered to their home, 58% ordered groceries online to pick up in-store, 61% ordered delivery/takeout from a local restaurant and 55% used a meal kit delivery service. These various methods continue to gain popularity as the pandemic continues.

Perhaps the biggest threat on this list to traditional grocery stores are powerful delivery service companies, Shipt and Instacart. Target-owned grocery delivery platform, Shipt, increased its user base by 57% over the past year and the website’s order volume nearly tripled in 2020. Meanwhile, rival company Instacart has experienced similar growth with a 48% increased user base and almost doubled revenue in 2020.

One positive that has come out of the grocery store dilemma is that 29% of consumers said they are now more aware of how much food they waste. This could be because people are spending less and becoming more careful about not wasting food in fear of food supply shortages.

With COVID-19 and numerous other concerns coming to light over the past couple of years, grocery stores have become almost deserted. With this change come new ways to shop for food as well as an increased awareness put on food waste and sustainability. With these factors in mind, only one question remains: will grocery store runs become a thing of the past?