Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Grocers eye an opportunity serving lower-income consumers

The trend: Thirty-seven percent of US adults’ personal finances have gotten worse in the last year, an eight percentage point jump from February, per a NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll.

  • The situation is particularly pronounced among lower-income consumers. US adults who earn $50,000 or less are roughly three times less likely than higher-wage earners to state their financial picture has improved in the last year, according to the survey.
  • That’s a substantial segment of consumers, which is far larger than the nearly 41 million people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), per US Agriculture Department (USDA).
  • While individually SNAP recipients and other lower-income consumers have less spending power than higher-income shoppers, collectively they represent a sizable customer segment that several retailers and aggregators—including Walmart, Albertsons, and Kroger—are looking to better serve.

Skyrocketing prices: Retailers’ efforts, which include the expanded acceptance of SNAP benefits, the rollout of lower-priced lines, and new partnerships, aim to help consumers cope with soaring food prices. Grocery prices rose 13.5% in August, a 43-year high, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • In response, Albertsons last week announced a new partnership with affordable, mixed-income and market-rate housing company WinnCompanies that will enable it to deliver groceries, prescriptions, and vaccination services directly to over 133,000 residents across WinnCompanies’ 520 properties.
  • Kroger launched a new, lower-priced line of products called Smart Way to help it capture the growing share of consumers who are trading down to cheaper options.

Going online: Several retailers are seeking to make it easier to buy groceries online. That’s particularly important given that about 39 mil­lion peo­ple in the US live in low-income and low-access areas, per a recent USDA report. With­in that group, 18.8 mil­lion peo­ple—or 6.1% of the US total pop­u­la­tionhave lim­it­ed access to a super­mar­ket or gro­cery store.

  • For example, Walmart last week rolled out a series of updates to its online shopping channels that includes the option to filter items by those that are EBT- or SNAP-eligible.
  • It isn’t just large retailers eyeing the opportunity. Shopify solution provider Grocerist announced it has received USDA approval for Gong’s Market, becoming California’s first single-store grocer to accept SNAP payments online.
  • Those efforts dovetail with Instacart and Target beginning to accept SNAP payments earlier this year.
  • Meanwhile, warehouse club BJ’s Wholesale Club last week began accepting SNAP payments across all of its US locations, as well as on its website and app.

The big takeaway: Amid a competitive environment in which customer loyalty is increasingly breaking down, there are multiple ways for retailers to gain market share by better serving lower-income consumers.

Go further: Read our report on the Era of Uncertainty here.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.