PGRI March/April 2022 Public Gaming Magazine

32 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MARCH/APRIL 2022 Ok, now that I have your attention, it is time to discuss where the U.S. Lottery industry sits compared to two years ago when the pandemic first made its mark on the industry. Leger’s research from December 2021 begins with the question ‘how frequently and where have you been shopping?’. When talking about convenience store shopping, 16%1 of Americans are shopping less often at C-Stores, compared to 9%2 who are shopping more often, a net decline of -7%. This decreased shopping behavior is being driven by 50-64 year olds (23%3 of whom are shopping less). However, two critical Lottery playing groups more than doubled the average number of their convenience store trips during the pandemic, with the 30-39 year olds (21%4) and those living in Urban areas (19%5) leading the way. The trends are remarkably similar when looking at grocery shopping. Compared to two years ago, 24%6 of Americans are shopping less often at Grocery stores while 11%7 are shopping more often, a net decrease of -11%. Despite this, the groups driving the highs and lows follow similar patterns as the convenience stores, with those shopping less being driven by higher risk COVID groups 50-64 year-olds (31%8), who are traditionally in the sweet spot for Lottery draw games, while those shopping more are in the 30-39 year age range (19%9). Higher income Americans in their 30’s provide the ideal target market for almost all discretionary spending categories in the USA today. For the U.S. Grocery shoppers, times are a changing. COVID has likely forced the issue for some shoppers, but for the most part, changing habits were already being formed and the two-year pandemic has merely sped up the process. 40% of U.S. grocery shoppers have either “started to order online and pick up at the store” or “started to get my groceries delivered to my house”. Of these two habits, home delivery is the more popular with 27% of grocery shoppers taking advantage of delivery services. From a physical perspective, perhaps with a focus on safety, it makes perfect sense, with four of the five key shopping elements (groceries into cart, onto the checkout, bagged and into the cart, and finally into the vehicle) being eliminated. More than 50% of Americans shop online at least once a week, with this number significantly higher among the 30-39 year-old age group at 67%, and $100k+ income groups at 69%. However, the knock-on effect from fewer grocery shoppers in-store cannot be THE PANDEMIC IS OVER .... Simon Jaworski, Executive Vice President U.S. Operations, Leger