Expired Food is a Primary Reason Shoppers Leave Your Store

by Andrew Hoeft | Mar 25, 2020 1:23:23 PM

This post is excerpted from our latest eBook, The Impact of Expired Products on Supermarket Sales & Shopping Behavior: A 2018 Survey Report.

We recently completed a market study surveying grocery shoppers on actions they take upon finding expired food items at a grocery store. This post will examine a particular finding from the survey. Over the past weeks, we’ve posted additional insights from the survey. If you want to read the survey in its entirety, download it here.

The goal of this study was simple: get a better understanding of consumer sentiments regarding expired products and how those sentiments impact their decisions to shop at a particular supermarket as well as how likely it is they would share bad experiences with others.

Survey participants whose responses were included in the results self-identified as grocery shopping decision-makers in their household. All 505 of these respondents were located in the United States and varied in age from 18 to over 60, with most (32.08%) falling between 30-44. Gender breakdown skewed female with about 64% of respondents identifying as female and about 35% identifying as male.

The results of the study show that grocery decision makers are actively checking expiration dates in the store. 78.8% of respondents either check every item they select, or regularly check items in key categories such as meat and dairy products. The results also suggest that sales, not just shrink, are hurt by the impact expired products have on shoppers, with 17.5% of respondents saying they have switched their primary grocery store after discovering expired products and nearly 30% saying they would be extremely likely to stop shopping at a store if they found expired products there repeatedly. Lastly, shoppers are very likely to share experiences with others, especially when expired products become a recurring problem.

Poor quality/expired food is a primary reason shoppers stop shopping with you

Not surprisingly, most shoppers cite poor customer service as the top reason they’ve stopped shopping at a particular supermarket. But perhaps less apparent was what comes in at number two: poor quality and/or expired food. 42.4% of shoppers categorize this ahead of out-of-stocks and high prices.

Categorize why you stopped shopping at a grocery store

Categorize why you stopped shopping at a grocery store
Again, when we look at how this broke down among income levels, interesting details emerge: Higher income shoppers place an above average importance on customer service while being less concerned about product availability and price. Given this, low quality and/or expired food issues are relatively the same level of importance as the average.


This is the last post containing insights from this survey. To read the report in its entirety, or catch up on anything you missed, download a copy by clicking below.

Download the impact of expired products on supermarket sales & shopping behavrior

Subscribe Now

Additional Reading