SNAP Households Represent 24% of U.S. Consumer Goods Spend, per Numerator

Convenience and dollar retailers continue to outperform with SNAP consumers.

March 16, 2023

CHICAGO—Numerator’s latest report—Helping SNAP Consumers During Economic Headwinds—examines the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on modern consumers through the analysis of verified purchases by SNAP recipients. Overall, SNAP consumers account for nearly one-quarter (24%) of total CPG spend.

Other findings from Numerator include:

  • SNAP recipients represent a diverse group of consumers. Sixty-one percent of SNAP recipients are in the bottom 30th percentile in terms of purchasing power, 45% have children (compared to 28% of non-SNAP households), 29% have 5+ members in their household, and 37% are Gen Z or millennial.
  • Even with government assistance, SNAP recipients feel food insecurity. Over 1 in 4 SNAP consumers (26%) say they are unable to buy enough food to feed their family. 
  • Utilization of SNAP during a shopping trip results in larger purchases. When SNAP consumers utilize their benefits during a shopping trip, basket size is $15 more, spend per trip on groceries is almost $18 more, and units per trip double (from 5.2 to 10.4).
  • To save money, SNAP recipients are pulling back on snacks. Units purchased per household are down significantly in snack categories such as popcorn (-23.6%), meat snacks (-18%) and snack seeds, nuts and trail mixes (-15.9%), compared with the year-ago period.
  • SNAP consumers vary their shopping locations. SNAP consumers are 56% more likely to spend their CPG dollars at dollar stores, 24% more likely at convenience stores, and 12% more likely at mass retailers, compared to non-SNAP consumers. 
  • SNAP consumers are 37% more likely to eat out four or more times per week, but they are moving food trips back to stores. As SNAP recipients pull back on dining out, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King and Little Caesars are seeing the most lost trips.

Learn more about NACS advocacy on SNAP-related issues, including removing the hot foods restriction.