The Independent’s Playbook: In the Ho-ho-home Stretch

December 21, 2023

By Jim Dudlicek / NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs

Christmas is just a few days away and anyone who works in grocery has been crazy busy for weeks now. But with the big day bearing down, the folks at market tracker Numerator this week reminded us who’s buying what this holiday season.

There’s good news and not-so-good news for grocers in what Numerator has to share about consumers’ celebration, shopping and spending plans for the holidays this year.

First, the good news: At least 93% of consumers plan to celebrate Christmas this year, and food is their second-most planned purchase (80% of celebrators), right behind gifts.

The top consumable purchases this Christmas are food (80%), candy (48%) and alcoholic beverages (38%), and nearly 70% plan to cook or bake something special.

What’s more, nearly half of those questioned by Numerator expect to spend more than $300 this Christmas, which admittedly could be due to either generosity or inflation.

However, according to the Numerator study, only 39% plan to make their holiday purchases at grocery stores, tied with club stores; online and mass retailers lead the pack, with dollar stores bringing up the rear.

Of course, it’s no surprise that competition is intense for consumers’ grocery dollars. But these survey results demonstrate how important it is for independent community grocers to pull out all the stops in making their stores a sought-after destination, not only during the holidays, but year-round.

And it’s evident from your social media activity that so many of you are doing just that, with a host of holiday promotions, sales and events designed to engage, excite and delight your shoppers.

So, keep up the good work, but don’t let your guard down – and happy holidays!