JACKSONVILLE, FL: A majority of US consumers enjoy grocery shopping, with the lure of new products proving a particular incentive, a study has shown.

For its report The Why? Behind the Buy, the Acosta Sales & Marketing agency surveyed a nationally representative sample of US shoppers and found that 54% of respondents liked going shopping for groceries, up from 41% three years earlier.

Among those who took a delight in the activity, 40% cited the attraction of finding new products to try, while 38% said they looked for the best deals on offer. And 25% liked simply browsing the aisles.

Consumers no longer regarded grocery shopping as quite such a chore, according to Colin Stewart, svp/Acosta, and he attributed the changing outlook to several factors.

"Shopper engagement, combined with improving economic conditions and increased consumer confidence, is giving way to an improved environment for CPGs and retailers to build brand loyalty, introduce new products and grow their business," he said.

The report also highlighted some distinct differences within different ethnic and age groups. Asian-Americans (72%) were most likely to enjoy this type of retail activity, followed by African-Americans (67%) and Hispanics (66%).

Among the age ranges, 64% of Millennials reported they liked to grocery shop. But with this age group being less likely to eat three meals a day, their grocery shopping habits differed from older groups. Acosta said they were behind a rise in snacking and were likely to be buying protein/energy bars, smoothies/blended drinks and energy drinks.

It further noted a growth in digital grocery technology, as consumers made greater use of smartphones and tablets. More than one quarter of shoppers (27% ) reviewed a store's digital circular before shopping and more than one in five (22%) logged into store loyalty programs or similar after shopping.

As well as this, mobile devices are starting to replace old-fashioned paper shopping lists: 17% of those surveyed now compile their grocery requirements on smartphone or tablet.

Data sourced from Acosta. Retail Wire; additional content by Warc staff