Consumers, retailers concerned about online holiday grocery shopping

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
holiday dinner table
Most consumers would rather shop for holiday meals in-store (Credit: Liliboas)

A new survey reveals brick-and-mortar grocers may have an edge when it comes to holiday shoppers.

According to The State of Online Grocery Shopping 2022: This Holiday & Beyond,” a survey of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers and grocery retailers conducted by Regina Corso Consulting for cooling technology provider Phononic, just over 50% of surveyed consumers have returned to in-store shopping year-round.

However, 70% of consumer respondents expect to shop in-store for their holiday meal and/or holiday party groceries. The same ratio of consumers – seven in 10 – said that they would order more fresh and/or frozen food online if they felt confident that these foods would arrive still fresh and/or frozen.

The highest participation rates for in-store grocery shopping were found among baby boomer and Gen X respondents (83% and 79%, respectively).

Meanwhile, about nine in 10 (89%) surveyed retailers admit that they are concerned about keeping their food fresh and/or frozen for curbside pick-up and delivery over the holiday season and beyond.

Despite these findings, 84% of retail respondents expect their online grocery operations to increase in the next year. The same percentage see a need to provide food quality and freshness, speed of delivery, and sustainability.

Nearly 100% of retailer respondents say, as an industry, they need to come up with better sustainability initiatives beyond packaging. Retailers actually display a greater interest in sustainability than shoppers, as 70% of consumer respondents say they consider sustainability when it comes to groceries and grocery shopping.

The survey also revealed some interesting findings related to the areas of food safety, labor, and inflation:

Food safety

  • This holiday season specifically, 85% of retail respondents worry about keeping food safe for the online delivery and curbside pick-up customers.


  • Almost nine in 10 (88%) retail respondents are concerned about staffing for all departments, including management of curbside pickup and delivery.


  • More than half (53%) of surveyed retailers say they are very concerned about keeping shelves stocked and being able to keep prices where they are, and not having to raise them due to inflation for the 2022 holiday season.
  • Nearly half of consumer respondents say that with rising prices, they find themselves shopping online more for groceries to better compare costs.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of consumer respondents say shopping online keeps them from in-store impulse purchases, which also drive up costs.

[Read more: October e-grocery sales fall year-over-year]