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The best and worst times to do your grocery-shopping

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January–December 2014 (n=12,629).

Want to avoid the crowds when you go grocery shopping? The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that Mondays and Tuesdays are your best bet. These two days are the least popular among Australian grocery shoppers who tend to go to the supermarket on the same day each week. Saturday, on the other hand, is a high-traffic shopping day, and not recommended for the faint-hearted...

Just over half (51.2%) of Australian grocery buyers usually do their main grocery shopping on a specific day of the week. On Saturdays, 14.2% of grocery buyers flock to supermarkets around the country, almost triple the proportion who usually shop on Mondays (5.0%) and Tuesdays (5.4%). Thursdays also tend to be high-traffic grocery-buying days (10.9%).

Days of the week Australians do their grocery shopping


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January–December 2014 (n=12,629).

The supermarket someone usually shops at makes little difference to the day of the week they tend to do their grocery shopping. Customers of Coles, Woolworths/Safeway, IGA and ALDI who buy their groceries on a particular day of the week are all most likely to brave the supermarket on a Saturday and least likely to go shopping on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Looking at shoppers by age, the Saturday and Thursday trend is consistent across most age groups, with two key exceptions: under-25s, who are more likely to do their main grocery shop on Sundays than any other day (12.2%); and the 65+ segment, for whom Thursday is the most popular shopping day (16.8%), followed by Friday (11.8%).

The busiest time of day for grocery-buying is between 8 and 11am, except among Sunday shoppers, who are more likely to visit the supermarket between 1 and 5pm – a time slot which is also popular among the 43.4% of Aussie grocery buyers who don’t have a regular shopping day.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Nobody who’s been to a supermarket on a Saturday morning will be surprised to learn that Saturday is the most popular shopping day among consumers who usually do their main groceries on the same day each week. With so many of us employed full-time, Saturday grocery-shopping is often not so much a choice as an inevitability.

“The busy morning period suggests that many Saturday shoppers just want to get it over and done with as early as possible. In contrast, the proportion of regular Saturday shoppers who shop between 5pm and midnight is the lowest for this time slot across all seven days. Good to see that most of us are otherwise occupied enjoying our Saturday evening!

“Despite extended trading hours being commonplace for supermarkets these days, evenings are not especially popular among people doing their main grocery shop. Having said that, consumers who do not have a regular shopping day are more likely to shop at night than those who do.

“For grocery-buyers unrestricted by work commitments and who prefer a more relaxed shopping experience, Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to visit the supermarket, with a far lower proportion of regular shoppers than any other day. A savvy supermarket might even offer incentives to shop on these days, so as to ease the congestion of some of the other days…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%