Redefining Grocery Shopping and the Rise of Sustainable, Health-Conscious Choices

By Published On: April 23rd, 20241127 wordsViews: 47
Redefining Grocery Shopping, Sustainability & Health Conscious Choices

The way we eat, and grocery shop, was abruptly changed during the pandemic. Suddenly we were faced with reduced or limited access to restaurants and empty shelves in the grocery stores. Lockdowns became a reality that many were not prepared to face, and food insecurity went from something the poorest experience to a shared experience for all.

At Grain Free Mama’s we’ve not only lived these changes ourselves, but are 100% committed to being a trusted, reliable source to serve our loyal customers.

Countries shut down, the supply chains for food products and food ingredients stopped, and consumer trust vanished. In the United States, we experienced the ‘toilet paper’ crisis. People were stockpiling to then sell at a higher profit. It was a crazy reality to live through. In my family, we began talking and texting when we were shopping to help each other find what we needed from various parts of town. For my family, it ended up being a nice bonding memory amid a strange time.

Since the end of the pandemic, all have not returned to the previous ‘normal’. We’ve had to change the way we shop and eat. For many, this included cooking more meals at home. Restaurant meal delivery became a common site. We’ve experienced a shift in the way we eat and shop.

Amazon, as well as other online platforms, benefitted from realizably delivering what was ordered and needed. These online buying habits were rewarded. It became the norm to shop differently for the products we use every day. Free shipping became an expected service.

Then came inflation. All the ‘free’ money that was handed out had a delayed price tag. Shrinkflation (whereby a product size was reduced while the price was simultaneously increased) has hit hard. Our buying power is still being reduced and this is felt within the grocery stores keenly. Shipping costs have soared. Utility costs have increased.

Redefining Grocery Shopping and the Rise of Sustainable, Health-Conscious Choices | Grain Free Mamas

Recent data shows a substantial increase in online grocery shopping, a trend that took off during the pandemic and continues to grow. In an article by McKinsey & Company from 2020, “Categories where expected growth in online shoppers exceeds 35 percent include essentials such as over the counter (OTC) medicine, groceries, household supplies, and personal-care products. Even discretionary categories such as skincare and makeup, apparel, and jewelry and accessories show expected customer growth of more than 15 percent.” (1)

Millennials and Gen Z are leading this shift, attracted by the convenience, the ability to quickly compare prices, and the expanded availability of products. According to McKinsey, these demographic groups are significantly more likely to continue using online services post-pandemic. We have experienced this more and more, now with all age groups.

Consumers are increasingly drawn to products that are not only good for their health but also for the planet. When you have less money to spend on groceries and health, your priorities undergo a shift. This has led to a rise in the popularity of “free-from” products and those with clear, sustainable credentials. Nearly 95% of consumers report taking steps to live more sustainably, which includes choosing products that meet these criteria in grocery stores. Yet, NIQ data shows that 26% of shoppers find it difficult to find sustainable products on the digital shelf. (2)

Gourmet Gluten & Grain Free Baking Mixes | Grain Free Mama’s

Our community, A Place At The Table, is a safe, fun place. You have access to learn and share healthy recipes, meal ideas, the pros and cons trending with foods, and a section for best-growing tips to sustainably grow your own herbs and produce.

What we budget for and buy as consumers are now becoming segregated into ‘what do I need’ and ‘what do I want’. The needs must be met first. When the budget shrinks, the wants can get shelved or reduced. Economic pressures have led to a disruption in brand loyalty, with consumers more open to trying private labels that offer comparable quality at a lower price.

Alongside online shopping, there’s a growing trend toward shopping locally at farmers’ markets. The distrust of how the produce in grocery stores is treated and produced is running higher than ever. There is no ‘expiration date’ on produce, so consumers do not know when it was harvested. How old is the stuff anyway? Consumers are seeking fresh, organic produce directly from the source, driven by a desire to support local economies and receive products they perceive as fresher and more sustainable. This shift is part of a broader movement towards more ethical consumption patterns.

One grocery store, Whole Foods, is adapting to protect its market share by opening smaller store locations to serve urban populations. Here is a quote from an article by Forbes about this, “In our new store formats, we are tailoring every square foot to the unique, fast-paced needs of urban lifestyles,” said Christina Minardi, EVP, of growth and development, Whole Foods Market and Amazon. “We are excited to introduce a new way for our customers to quickly pick up their Whole Foods Market favorites – from grab-and-go meals to those last-minute dinner ingredients – making the early morning or after-work grocery trip more efficient and enjoyable. Expanding our footprint with Whole Foods Market Daily Shop is key to our growth, fostering deeper customer connections, and advancing our purpose to nourish people and the planet.” (3)

Grain Free Mama’s aligns perfectly with these consumer preferences by offering baking mixes that are free from common allergens and artificial additives and are produced sustainably. These products cater not only to health-conscious individuals but also to those concerned with environmental impact, providing a guilt-free baking experience that doesn’t compromise on taste or quality.

Gourmet Gluten & Grain Free Baking Mixes | Grain Free Mama’s

A Place At The Table community acts as a critical educational resource where consumers can learn about the importance of ingredient transparency, the benefits of allergen-free products, and how to make sustainable food choices. Through webinars, courses, and community discussions, this platform encourages informed consumer decisions, fostering a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

The changing consumer behaviors toward grocery and farmers’ market shopping reflect a deeper societal shift toward value-based purchasing. Products like Grain Free Mama’s and A Place At The Table community not only support these changes but actively drive them, offering products and platforms that resonate with modern consumers’ desires for health, sustainability, and community connection.

Learn more about Grain Free Mama’s with a visit to our website today.

Margie Traxler | Owner, Grain Free Mamas

Written by Margie Traxler
Grain Free Mama’s is a FoodTech Consumer Product Goods company. We make gluten/grain/sugar free (Edible Grasses Free), dairy free and botanical nut free baking mixes that put the simple back into simply good for you. We also have educational resources to help you on your healthy eating journey. Margie, the Founder/CEO, received her B.S. in Biology from Portland State University. She has 22 years of experience as a successful Restaurant owner. She lives and operates her business in Henderson, Nevada.

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