Here’s how many different grocery stores Americans visit per week, and what they buy

FILE - A shopper inside a Dollar General Market store in Saddlebrook, New Jersey, on Feb. 29, 2024. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

How many different grocery stores do Americans visit for their weekly haul? 

Whether it be a physical supermarket or an online delivery service, the average American shops at two different grocery stores per week for their household needs, according to a recent survey by Drive Research, a market research company based in Syracuse, New York. 

The data comes from a survey of over 1,000 consumers across the U.S. in April. 

Most go to a mainstream grocery chain (61%), such as Kroger, Safeway, or Publix, or say they like to shop at a supercenter (56%) like Walmart or Target due to convenience, affordability, and variety. 

Some 34% of those surveyed said they regularly shop for groceries at a club store like Costco or Sam’s Club. Dollar stores like Family Dollar or Dollar General are also popular, with 29% saying those retailers are part of their regular shopping destinations. 

Why shop at multiple stores per week? 

"This might be to maximize cost savings, access a broader range of products, and take advantage of different promotions or discounts offered by each store," Drive Research noted.

While Americans still mostly shop for their food in-person at a physical grocery store (74% of the time), many respondents of the survey said they also order through a delivery service like Instacart (25% of the time).

The survey found that 12% of the time, grocery shopping is done through a curbside or pickup service, and "done through other ways" 8% of the time. 

Grocery store: Price, location matter most when choosing

Price (72%) and location (59%) are the most influential factors for choosing a grocery store, the survey found. The quality of products (57%) is also important for consumers when grocery shopping. 

Some 36% said store cleanliness is an important factor, followed by loyalty rewards or membership benefits (32%), customer service quality and friendliness of staff (29%), store hours (27%), and crowdedness (20%).

Other factors that go into choosing a grocery store include the availability of self-checkout options (18%) and specialty items like vegan or kosher food (15%), curbside pickup or delivery offered (12%), as well as personal recommendations from friends or family (11%), according to the survey. 

How much do Americans spend on groceries?

In 2024, people spend an average of $174 on groceries per trip or order, according to Drive Research’s survey. 

When broken down by household size, Americans spend the following amount, on average:

  • Household size of 1: $131
  • Household size of  2: $143
  • Household size of 3-4: $204
  • Household size of 5+: $262

Over half of consumers (56%) said they anticipate spending more on groceries this year than they did in 2023. Meanwhile, 39% of people said they spend more over their budget each month on groceries.

What are they buying?

Among the top grocery items people buy are dairy goods (82%), fresh produce (80%), and snack foods (76%), the survey found. 

Larger household sizes are more likely to purchase snack foods than smaller households, according to Drive Research. 

For families with five or more people living in the home, snack foods such as chips, cookies, crackers, and dried fruit was the second-highest purchased grocery item (85%), behind fresh produce (88%).

Comparatively, homes with one to four people were more likely to report dairy goods and fresh produce as items they most typically buy at the grocery store.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.