Yesterday Good Eggs announced the results of a nationwide grocery shopping survey conducted in August, 2020, amongst 2,598 consumers beyond their own customers and operating geography in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Results showed that two-thirds of people have bought groceries online, compared to only 13% of households surveyed one year ago (August 2019, by Brick Meets Click), representing a five-fold increase. The bigger news—and opportunity—is the 81% who say they’ll continue to do so post-COVID.
Seventy percent said the #1 benefit (aside from reducing COVID-19 risk) is time savings. Fifty-one percent say it helps them reduce impulse purchases, and 42% say it makes it easy for them to reorder the same foods regularly.
When asked where they do their online shopping, Walmart
While big players dominate, Good Eggs CEO Bentley Hall believes this often isn’t a proactive choice, but simply reflects what’s available. He said, “There is an enormous market opportunity for companies like Good Eggs who can deliver convenience, peak quality, and have authentic values.”
One way Good Eggs taps this opportunity is by inventorying 5000 items that are picked and delivered by Good Eggs employees, 80% of whom are full-time, with living wages and benefits. Each item meets a set of criteria so their shoppers don’t have to worry about reading labels.
Sixty percent of people are spending more on groceries now than before COVID-19, with 24% spending significantly more. What people are buying has changed as well. The top two categories people are purchasing more of include snack foods (44%) and pantry staples (39%).
Online grocery shopping is not enough of a safety precaution for just under half of people (41%) who still wipe down every item. Why? Only 32% claim that the delivery people who show up at their house use masks and gloves 100% of the time.
Forty seven percent are ordering groceries for curbside pickup, and 17% are supplementing with meal kits, a category made up mostly of direct-to-consumer subscription service providers who send ingredients, sometimes across the country, which can impact quality. Good Eggs sees their “peak freshness” kits, and other prepared foods, as anchor products, says Jane Stecyk, Senior Director of Marketing at Good Eggs. CEO Hall says, “People want to fill their fridge and pantry with groceries. They also want to solve meals.”
Clearly people miss some of the elements of in-store shopping, such as the sense of discovery they get from perusing the aisle, and finding things that weren’t on their lists (62%), touching and selecting their own produce (53%), and the ability to quickly pick up just one or two items (42%). The downside of shopping online includes the lack of available items or difficulty finding the items they want (45%), getting poor quality foods they wouldn’t have picked themselves (41%), and receiving the wrong items in, or having items missing from, their orders (39%).
“Convenience and same-day delivery are table stakes… If it’s fast delivery and you don’t get everything you order, that’s not particularly convenient.” says CEO Hall, who claims Good Eggs is one of the few grocers that deliver with 99% accuracy: a value they’re banking on as a point of difference.
Good Eggs is preparing to take advantage of changing shopper behavior that’s been buoyed by COVID-19. They’re currently scouting locations for a facility for expansion into Southern California. Their ambitions are to be the grocer of choice, not just because they’re convenient and available in every neck of the woods, but because their mission-driven values align with their customers’. While Walmart and Amazon can claim dominance, they aren’t trying to win on values.
“We’re still in the early days of this category,” says CEO Hall, who doesn’t aim to compete with the big guys, rather, to out-perform them on quality and ethos.
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