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This Grocery Shopping Habit Is Rapidly Declining

This is why you're seeing more in-person shopping.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many shoppers opted for online grocery shopping to stay socially distanced and safe. They stocked up on food staples, sanitizing wipes, and cleaning products.

Now that the severity of the pandemic has lessened, fewer people are hopping on their computers, phones, and tablets to place their grocery orders online, according to a new survey.

Based on the latest grocery shopping survey carried out by Mercatus and Brick Meets Click, U.S. online grocery sales were down 6% in March. Last March set a record high of $9.3 billion compared to $8.7 billion in 2022.

couple grocery shopping
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Related: 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year

The home delivery segment saw the largest drop in sales, falling over 30% in March compared to a year ago. This decline was driven by a drop in the number of orders placed by monthly users, combined with a 23% drop in the average order value, the survey released last week said.

The war in Ukraine has caused grocery prices to skyrocket, making more people shop around  at multiple stores for better deals.

"Conflict has driven up international prices for wheat, maize and vegetable oils, as war in the Black Sea region spread shocks through the markets trading in these staples," according to the United Nations food agency.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which tracks the monthly changes in the most commonly traded food commodities, averaged 159.3 points in March versus a revised 141.4 for February, a record high. February already marked the highest the index had reached since 1990.

In-person grocery shopping may be less convenient than shopping online, but at least shoppers can save money on their bill since there's no delivery fee.

Kristen Warfield
Kristen Warfield is the weekend editor for Eat This, Not That! and is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz’s journalism program in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Read more