What Buying Trends Can Grocery Stores Expect This Fourth of July?

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MyWebGrocer reports on online sales of traditional Independence Day products – strong trends identified

The Fourth of July holiday brings out many of the obvious grilling and barbeque delights – hot dogs, hamburgers, and of course potato chips. But what brands are consumers buying? Do various regions differ in their love for grilled meats? Are shopper’s grilling habits changing? Answers to these questions can offer valuable insights to grocery businesses as they work to optimize supermarket shelf management and online sales.

MyWebGrocer drilled down into online sales data from the past three years to see what grocery stores might expect, and found interesting – and occasionally unexpected – results. MyWebGrocer is the leading US provider of digital grocery solutions, and the provider of grocery ecommerce data to Nielsen. Catherine Workman, Senior Marketing Analyst at MyWebGrocer, offers the following findings. All are statistically significant at a minimum confidence interval of 90%:

Condiments

  •     According to MWG online sales data, relishes experienced 40% - 50%+ growth in unit sales the week of July Fourth (compared to the week before July Fourth) in 2008, 2009 & 2010. This consistent level of pre-holiday growth outpaces other popular condiments like mayo (up 14% the week of July Fourth in 2010) and mustard (up 4% the week of July Fourth in 2010).
  •     Ketchup sales dropped slightly the week of July Fourth in 2008 and 2009 (falling -12% and -10%, respectively), but regained popularity in 2010 (up 43% Fourth of July week compared to the week prior). One reason ketchup sales might have been down in 2009 is that shoppers may have been moving away from burgers and dogs into more exotic territory: marinade sales units were up 103% the week of July Fourth in 2009 compared to the week prior. Marinades unit sales still increased the week of July Fourth in 2010 as well, but not at the same pace.

Chips

  •     The top brands of potato chips in online unit sales for the two weeks before July Fourth in 2010 were Lay's, Pringles, Utz, Ruffles and Herr's, according to MyWebGrocer online sales data.
  •     Interestingly, the brands with the highest growth rates the two weeks leading up to July Fourth from 2009 to 2010 were PopChips (up 867%), Shearer's (up 389%), Old Dutch (up 320%), Boulder Canyon (up 278%) and Krunchers! (up 221%).

Grilling Meats

  •     Beef (burgers and steaks) is the most popular grilling meat for Independence Day, but not by as much as one might expect. Overall, beef sales (by units sold) comprised 41% of the grilling meats in the 2 weeks before July Fourth, 2010, but were followed closely by poultry at 35%.
  •     As expected, shoppers are also buying hot dogs (14% of grilling meat unit sales two weeks leading up to July Fourth 2010) and pork (10% of grilling meat sales two weeks leading up to July Fourth 2010).

Regional Sales

  •     Interestingly, in some Northeastern states (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), chicken beat out beef for the No. 1 grilling meat in unit sales the two weeks before the Fourth of July in 2010.
  •     Michigan, Missouri and Oregon are home to hot dog buyers. Hot dog unit sales in those states accounted for more than 30% of the grilling meat sales over the two weeks leading up to Fourth of July in 2010. Nationally, hot dogs represent 14% of grilling meat sales for the same time period.
  •     Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and Louisiana online shoppers like to add pork to the grilling mix for Fourth of July. Sales of pork in those states represent 20% - 25% of the grilling meat purchases for the two weeks leading up to Fourth of July, compared to 10% nationally for the same period.    

About MyWebGrocer:
MyWebGrocer drives digital connections between consumers, grocery retailers, and Consumer Packaged Goods brands. MWG creates and manages digital solutions for clients including websites, digital media, online circulars, email marketing initiatives, mobile applications, social media strategies, and customer acquisition programs. MyWebGrocer works with more than 110 retailers nationally, representing more than 10,000 stores, and 90 major consumer packaged goods brands. The data reflected above was collected from users of MyWebGrocer’s digital grocery platform between 6/21 and 7/4 in 2008, 2009 & 2010.

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Alicia De Martini
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