Survey Result: Consumers Check Expiration Dates–A Lot

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 the methods used along with a particular finding. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting 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.

The online survey tool, SurveyMonkey, was used to organize, disseminate, collect, and analyze study questions and subsequent responses. A total of 17 questions were created to both segment respondents demographically and accomplish the main goal of collecting sentiments regarding the impact of expired food on the grocery shopping experience.

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.

Consumers check expiration dates––a lot

Over half of all respondents (55.3%) regularly check the expiration dates of items in certain categories such as dairy and meat, while almost one in four respondents (23.6%) check every single item prior to purchase. Only 2% of shoppers report never checking expiration dates before making grocery purchases.

Do you check expiration dates on products when grocery shopping?

Do you check expiration dates on products when grocery shopping

Interestingly, both low and high income shoppers check expiration dates most frequently while those in the middle of the income bracket check the least.

We’ll be posting additional insights from this survey in future blog posts. To read the report in its entirety, download a copy by clicking below.

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