US Consumers Weigh in on Responsible Grocery Shopping Habits

Lately, consumers are leaning towards more natural and sustainable solutions when purchasing groceries and other goods. More and more people are becoming conscious of their products, and how their purchase decisions affect the planet as well as their community.  1000 US consumers completed a survey on responsible and sustainable shopping habits. Here are the results:

Top 3 responsible habits that shoppers currently possess vs what shopping habits they hope to make part of their lives

  • 56% vs 51% buy fresh ingredients instead of packages ones
  • 57% vs 48% purchase seasonal produce
  • 53% vs 49% only buy what they need


Top 3 reasons why shoppers are prevented from using reusable bags on your supermarket/grocery shopping trips

  • 46% always forget to bring their bags
  • 41% find that plastic bags are checkout are more convenient
  • 15% do not like reusable bags

Contamination fear: 11% think that reusable bags increase risk of contamination, and out of those, 35% were men

Design is important: 60% say that the design of a reusable bag is important to them. Out of those, 35% were men versus 17% women

Preference: If given the choice to either bring their own bags, or supermarkets only having paper bags 38% of consumers said they would rather bring their own!

Money is a Motivator: 63% say that discounts on the the total shopping trip would motivate them to use their reusable bags, followed by 62% claiming that cash back would be a motivator


Place in your own containers: 41% prefer items like grains, legumes, and nuts to be packaged for them, but 21% say they prefer to weigh these items and place them into their own containers. 28% of those who scoop for themselves…were male!

Recycled Packaging for the win:

  • 76% are likely to purchase a product that has been made with recycled materials
  • 53% say that recycled materials affect their decision to buy a brand/product. There were differences between age groups for this: 65% were 18-34 whereas the baby boomers weren’t as affected (37%)

Warnings might be effective: If plastic packages had a warning label such that said something to the likes of “this plastic bottle will end up in the ocean and kill up to 20 fish” then 68% consumers would be motivated to purchase that same product, but with different packaging


Environmental Responsibility:

  • 86% think that shopping in-store vs online is more environmentally responsible
  • 74% say they would be more interested in shopping at a brick-and-mortar store that was environmentally responsible over the convenience of online ordering

Reduce Food Waste: 44% think that shopping online reduces the amount of food people waste

Donation Nation:

  • 56% of respondents say that if they knew a store/grocer donated the food that was about to expire to charities instead of throwing this food in the trash, respondents would be motivated to shop there
  • 82% agree that the US should pass a law like France, where it is required for supermarkets to donate unsold or about-to-expire food to charity

Localization: 36% of respondent say they are more likely to shop at a store that sells locally-grown produce from local farmers



To learn more about how Toluna QuickSurveys analyzes real-time data from each study, check out our blog on TolunaAnalytics and its functions.


This survey was run with Toluna QuickSurveys, the leading consumer digital insights platform. The data from this survey is based on 1000 respondents, and Toluna’s proprietary weighting algorithm, SmartSelect was used for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to bring them into line with their actual proportions within the population. Toluna QuickSurveys can now guarantee a minimum of 1,000 nationally representative completed interviews – in no less than 21 countries – in 24 hours or less.

See for yourself and sign up here! Looking for more information about this real-time guarantee? Read the full press release here or get in touch with us here.



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