To list or not to list? What your grocery shopping habits may reveal about you

·2-min read

Forty percent of Americans buy healthy items to ensure they're not getting judged in the checkout line, new research suggests.

A recent survey polled 2,000 U.S. respondents about their habits while grocery shopping and found nearly two in five frequent the self-checkout to avoid being judged about their purchases. The same percent have experienced "cart envy" and left a checkout line in search of items they saw in others' shopping carts.

And if you've ever left the grocery store with more than you intended to buy, you're not alone — 78% have done the same. In addition, about two-thirds admitted they sometimes spend more than $50 on unintended purchases.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kroger, the study also looked at the personality differences of those who write lists before grocery shopping and those who don't.

It turns out, 80% of respondents identified as list-makers, compared to just 20% who do not.

Of those who make grocery lists, 73% are likely to cry during a sad movie, compared to 53% of non-list-makers. 

List-makers were also more likely to say they're satisfied with their life (72% vs 56%). 

When cooking meals, grocery shoppers who make lists were found to rely more heavily on recipes (32% vs 15%) and consider their cooking skills to be professional (54% vs 26%).

Additionally, list-makers were much more likely to focus on eating healthier since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (46% vs 20%).

The study also examined the personality traits of grocery shoppers who tend to explore every aisle of the store on their shopping trips (64% of respondents).

Not surprisingly, they were more likely to identify as early birds (42%) and adventurous (40%).

Aisle explorers were also most likely to be fans of horror movies (46%) and consider themselves introverted (37%).

"It's always interesting to see what the current habits of shoppers look like — especially as the world opens back up following the pandemic," said a Kroger spokesperson. "Regardless of our own individual preferences when we head out to the grocery store, it's great to see that folks are taking an interest in their health and wellness, and that customers are utilizing healthier options at the store."  

Regardless of shopping preference, more than two in five respondents have tried to focus on eating healthier since the pandemic began. And for more than one in three, that has meant an increasing importance on vegan, vegetarian and organic products.

"As grocery shopping evolves, we hope to continue to be a resource for those looking to improve their diets," the spokesperson added. "No matter how you shop, there are options available that work for everyone."

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