More than 80 percent of independent grocery store customers prefer their local store to shopping online, and two-thirds are either very or extremely satisfied with their store.

Those are among the findings of the third annual National Grocery Shoppers Survey commissioned by the National Grocers Association and conducted by Nielsen. The association represents independent grocers.

Those polled for the survey also strongly associated independent grocers with friendly employees, quality meats and produce and easy-to-navigate store layouts.

In addition, new independent buyer group panel data from Nielsen shows that shoppers at independent grocers spend more than 40 percent more on groceries than the average shopper.

“There’s no doubt that the supermarket industry is rapidly changing, either because of the growth of e-commerce or the explosion of new formats, along with shifting consumer trends. However, independent grocers are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles and with strong ties to their communities, they know what consumers want and need,” says Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA.