Sex online sure, but grocery-Shopping not so much

Despite doing pretty much everything else online — from banking and music-streaming to researching and having sex — Americans have not taken to grocery-shopping there — yet.

Americans’ love affair with the convenience of shopping for virtually anything online is rapidly changing the landscape of American retail businesses, especially long-standing brick-and-mortar establishments.

Toys ‘R’ Us recently went out of business in the face of online shopping. K-mart and Sears are closing dozens of stores as are even retail goliaths like Macy’s.

But despite all that and the regular need to purchase foods, grocery-shoppers still appear hesitant to have others select their food products, especially produce and meats.

About a third of the country (32%) shops for groceries in person more than once a week. About one-half (49%) shops once a week and 18% go less often than that. Only one percent say they never go.

A new Gallup Poll of American Consumption Habits finds that while 81 percent of U.S. households go grocery-shopping at least once a week, only four percent do that online with the same frequency. Another 11 percent do it less often.

Forty-five percent of Americans say they eat out at a restaurant at least once a week and 31 percent order takeout foods.

Given Amazon’s amazin’ success reading and anticipating American online shopping preferences, few would bet against its investment in Whole Foods and a rapid online grocery-delivery option. Other major retailers have had to match that online shopping option.

But so far an overwhelming majority of Americans, whether they shop often or not, still prefer to do their own melon-tapping, tomato-squeezing, meat-viewing and fish-sniffing.

Those most likely to order groceries online now tend to have children and more income. In fact, parents with children under 18 are twice as likely to order groceries online as those without children. They’re also more likely to order take-out.

Not surprisingly, dining out at a restaurant is also tied closely to income. Sixty-three percent of those earning $75,000 or more a year eat out at least once a week. That segment drops to 41 percent for those in middle-income brackets and to 21 percent in the lowest brackets.

Also unworthy of shock, 52% of those with full- or part-time jobs eat out weekly compared to 36 percent of the unemployed.

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