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Floridians prefer curbside pickup to grocery delivery, survey shows

Publix employee Jackie Ortegon, 52, of Tampa, scans grocery items in the dairy section during the grand opening of the University of South Florida campus Publix in December. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Publix employee Jackie Ortegon, 52, of Tampa, scans grocery items in the dairy section during the grand opening of the University of South Florida campus Publix in December. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Mar. 15, 2019

Floridians love to preorder and pick up their groceries — well, at least more than much of the rest of the country.

According to a survey of 2,000 consumers compiled by Offers.com, Florida has one of the highest rates of use for pre-order and curbside pickup in the country. While most Americans still haven't tried any grocery services, some regional trends are emerging among those who have.

"We see the southeast is a hotbed for curbside pickup," said Kristin McGrath, a writer for Offers.com who worked on the survey. "The northeast has more likely tried grocery delivery. So it seems to boil down to urban density."

About 24 percent of Floridians have used curbside pickup, according to the survey, and about 22 percent have used grocery delivery. States with big cities that rely more heavily on public transportation had higher levels of grocery delivery. But Florida still ranked higher than most states for delivery use.

McGrath said areas that rely more heavily on cars and have big parking lots are more likely to attract pickup service users, who already rely on theirs cars to run errands.

Philip Lempert, the grocery expert behind SupermarketGuru.com, said Florida's often rainy weather likely contributes to shoppers here being drawn to grocery services that keep them from trekking through a wet parking lot.

Lempert said the state's retired population also may play a role in delivery use.

"As the general population gets older, delivery is much easier, especially in having to carry the packages into the home," he said.

The survey found that 40 percent of people who had tried curbside pickup used Walmart's free service. For those who tried delivery, 29 percent used Instacart and 10 percent used Amazon's Prime Now.

But nearly 80 percent of those surveyed had never used grocery delivery or curbside pickup.

"Anytime you introduce new features to people, it takes time to adapt," McGrath said. "What's keeping them away from trying these things are the things that are hard to replicate."

The top concerns keeping Floridians from trying out either service type? The freshness of produce, entrusting other shoppers to pick out their food and the extra fees the services typically charge, McGrath said.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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