What you need to know

Total retail sales of groceries through Information Resources Inc. InfoScan Reviews MULO channels reached $601 billion in 2013, up nearly 2% from 2012. Retail sales of groceries through MULO channels are expected to grow by 15% between 2013 and 2018, at current prices, reaching $692 billion in 2018. Many factors will impact the grocery market over the next few years including the growing Hispanic population, the local food movement, consumers’ health issues and concerns, and the rise of online and mobile shopping.


This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Grocery Retailing – US, February 2013, Shopping for Groceries – US, July 2012, Grocery Store Retailing – US, January 2011, and Grocery Store Retailing – US, January 2010. This report focuses on all retail channels that provide grocery products including traditional supermarkets, club stores, natural markets (eg Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s), drug stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, internet retailers (eg Peapod and FreshDirect), and farmers markets.

Groceries are defined as products such as food, beverages, cleaning products, household goods (eg toilet paper, garbage bags), and/or personal care products (eg lotions, vitamins, and pharmacy products).

Data sources

Sales data

Market Size and Forecast: Based on MULO sales data from Information Resources Inc. InfoScan Reviews. MULO is defined as Multi Outlet, representative of the following channels: Total US Grocery, Mass, Total US Drug, Total Walmart, Dollar, Military, and Club.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumer attitudes and behaviors toward shopping for groceries and grocery retailers. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted Nov. 21-26, 2013, among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents so that they are proportionally balanced to the entire US adult population based on the key demographics of gender, age, household income, and region. Mintel also slightly oversamples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons NCS (National Consumer Study) and the Simmons NHCS (National Hispanic Consumer Study). The NCS/NHCS was carried out during May 2012-June 2013, and the results are based on the sample of 24,374 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report.

EDLP Everyday Low Price
HBC Health and beauty care
MULO Multi Outlet, representative of the following channels: Total US Grocery, Mass, Total US Drug, Total Walmart, Dollar, Military, and Club
OTC Over-the-counter


Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II/Swing generations Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 82 or older in 2014. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 69-81 in 2014.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 50 and 68.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Gen Xers are between the ages of 38 and 49.
Millennials* Born between 1977 and 1994, Millennials are aged 20-37 in 2014.
iGeneration Born between 1995 and 2007, members of iGen are aged 7-19 in 2014.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2014 members of this as-yet-unnamed generation are younger than 7.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

In order to provide an inflation-adjusted price value for markets, Mintel uses the CPI to deflate current prices. The CPI is defined as follows:

CPI The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The CPI and its components are typically used to adjust other economic series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples of series adjusted by the CPI include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the national income and product accounts. In addition, and in Mintel reports, the CPI is used as a deflator of the value of the consumer’s dollar to find its purchasing power. The purchasing power of the consumer’s dollar measures the change in the value to the consumer of goods and services that a dollar will buy at different dates.

The CPI is generally the best measure for adjusting payments to consumers when the intent is to allow consumers to purchase, at today’s prices, a market basket of goods and services equivalent to one that they could purchase in an earlier period. It is also the best measure to use to translate retail sales into real or inflation-free dollars.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics definition.
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