Rice a Major Gainer as Grocery Sales Climb

Woman sits on kitchen counter, cooking and working on computer
COVID-19 has changed the way Americans grocery shop and eat
Oct 05, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA – Recent surveys tracking the way Americans shop for groceries have shown ground-breaking results.  A year ago, more than 80 percent of shoppers said they had never shopped for groceries online, and online shopping was stagnant at around 3 percent of all grocery sales, or about $1.2 billion.  But by June of 2020, online grocery sales in the United States hit $7.2 billion, thanks in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic that has touched so many aspects of our lives.
“How we grocery shop has changed dramatically in just a few months,” said Cameron Jacobs, USA Rice director of domestic promotion.  “And the changes look to be permanent as post-pandemic, e-grocery sales are expected to climb from nearly $35 billion to more than $250 billion, and rice, which has gained already, could solidify its position in people’s pantries.”
In August, grocery customer spending rose 6 percent from $310 to $330 per month on average, while shopping trips fell almost 11 percent versus a year ago.  The fact that a majority of shoppers still prefer to visit a brick-and-mortar grocery store, either to shop in-store or pick up curbside orders, indicates that most shoppers remain loyal to retailers and online brands with a physical store presence.
“People may be shopping less but they’re spending more on groceries when they do shop,” said Jacobs.  “There’s been a comparable uptick in eating in versus dining out, and we’re seeing increased interest from consumers for new recipes using pantry staples, like rice, as they cook at home more.”
According to Supermarket News, a trade publication for the retail food-brand industry, rice has been one of the top ten sales gainers since the pandemic began last spring.  For the nine-week period ending June 1, 2020, rice sales were up 84.5 percent.

“It’s important for customers to know that the U.S. rice industry can continue to meet the increased demand and renewed interest in our products with safe, affordable, sustainably-grown rice and exciting, delicious, and nutritious recipes that will fit any budget and any taste,” Jacobs concluded.