NEW YORK - A recent study from Nielsen and Arlington, Va.-based FMI (Food Marketplace Inc.) found that 44% of US households buy groceries both on- and offline. The report forecasts that companies that have concentrated on developing capabilities to facilitate shopping from all angles are better poised for success. 

The Omnichannel Imperative for Food Retailers Report predicts that 74.7 million American households will be omnichannel shoppers by 2025. Right now, that number is at 54 million. Between now and 2025, omnichannel shoppers are expected to add another $8.4 billion in sales. 

According to the study, not too long ago some market observers thought shopping would largely migrate online. However, some online giants are actually ramping up their brick-and-mortar retailer presence. Amazon, for example, is in the process of opening its own full-size supermarket in Woodland Hills, Calif. 

According to the report, the evolution of fulfillment and auto-replenishment centers will be primary growth drivers with other factors including technologies that may not exist yet, such as robotically driven kitchens and 3D printed food at home. 

A large portion of today’s omnichannel shoppers come from high-income level households earning more than $50,000 annually, and older consumers lead the trend. Over half of omnichannel shoppers in the US are over the age of 45. 

The keys to winning over omnichannel shoppers are speed, convenience and easy navigation. The study found that fresh, prepared foods are a key traffic driver to physical stores. Between 2017 and 2019 prepared food sales increased 44.1%. Top prepared food items include sushi, salads, sandwiches and appetizers.