Investigators say you can learn a lot about people going through their garbage. But it’s a lot more fun, not to mention appetizing, to check out their grocery carts instead.
Recent surveys by Scarborough Research in a 33-county Kansas City marketing region found out several items most of us frequently consume, and how much we think we spend on groceries.
First, those amounts. If you think your grocery bills are big, you aren’t alone. Nearly one-fourth of the surveys’ nearly 2,000 adult respondents said their household had spent at least $200 on groceries in the past seven days. An additional one-sixth put the weekly bill between $150 and $199. Just 6.5 percent said they spend less than $50.
Extrapolating the results across the region’s nearly 1.9 million adults, Scarborough estimated nearly $244 million in grocery spending in the previous week. And of that, $171 million came in the region’s five core counties of Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas and Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.
So, what did we buy? The surveys didn’t track exactly that, but they did ask which of 17 food products a household had used in the past seven days. The list didn’t include fresh fruits and vegetables — this is market research, not nutritional guidance. Some predictable results, and some that might surprise you:
▪ Nearly 8 in 10 checked off “fresh meat” and more than 7 in 10 had used “packaged meat” such as bacon, hot dogs and cold cuts.
▪ Fifty-six percent had ready-to-eat cereal, and 65 percent had coffee. (Only 65 percent? How is that possible!?)
▪ We love our snacks. More than half had ice cream, frozen yogurt or frozen juice bars in the past week; half said yes to candy; and 6 in 10 had pretzels, chips or popcorn. Nuts got their own category, and nearly 44 percent ate some.
▪ The survey didn’t say whether it was plain and healthy or mixed with lots of sugar, but yogurt (not frozen) was used by nearly half the people responding.