Why Radio Should Be on Every Grocery Advertiser’s List

Author: Victor Texcucano, Content Coordinator, RAB

Grocery stores are essential to our everyday lives. Whether it’s vegetables, milk, dish soap or even cat food, grocery stores are a place where we all spend a large portion of our paychecks on items that are crucial to daily living.

Since the pandemic, grocery stores and supermarkets have had to deal with supply chain disruptions, increased food costs and inflation. There is a silver lining, however, as there are signs that inflation is slowing in 2023. According to Nerdwallet, essential staples, such as eggs, bacon, milk and meats have been decreasing in price when compared between July 2022 and July 2023. Yet, the cost of other grocery items such as frozen vegetables, margarine, white bread and salad dressing have increased.

Since the pandemic, life has been like a seesaw filled with ups and downs. Illustrative of these ups and downs, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales “surged” 0.7% in July 2023. This has been the biggest monthly gain since January 2023. Food and beverage stores sales were up 0.8% – another large gain since January 2023 (0.1%).

Despite these ups and downs, what has been clear since 2020 is the rise of online grocery shopping. Fueled by Americans’ wish to distance themselves from others and the ability to buy online and pick up curbside or via delivery, many discovered the convenience in shopping for groceries online.

Millennials, for example, have increased year-over-year 10% when it comes to online grocery spending, per PYMNTS. This number increases to 15% when looking at “bridge millennials” (those born between 1980 and 1989). And 45% of Gen Z consumers cite convenience as a key reason for shifting to digital orders.

Regardless of the different consumer and economy trends, radio is a very effective way to reach people who are grocery shoppers.

Per MRI-Simmons, radio reaches 86% of consumers who have bought groceries online in the last 30 days, and it reaches 83% who chose home delivery to receive their order, as well as 88% of those who picked up their order using curbside pick-up. Despite the myth that grocery shopping occurs mostly towards the weekend, that isn’t the case among radio listeners. Twenty-nine percent of broadcast radio listeners shop on Sundays, 25% shop on Mondays and 24% do so on Wednesdays. When using radio as part of the marketing plan, food and grocery retailers should not limit their advertising days or media weight to the latter part of the week. To do so may risk potential shopping occasions by radio-listening grocery shoppers.

Also, 87% of radio listeners agree that they shop around to take advantage of bargains, so it is important for stores to include special deals and sales in their radio messaging.

It is important for consumers to be aware of deals and bargains at grocery stores, and to hear of these deals throughout the week. Consumer shopping behaviors have drastically shifted in the past years.  Acknowledging these behaviors and using radio to communicate deals and conveniences available to them should be a staple on a food or grocery retailer’s media plan. So why not choose a proven medium, like radio, referred to as a workhorse by a national grocery store chain executive, to make sure consumers know where to get their everyday items?


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