A trip to the grocery is risky business for most Americans

Seven of 10 Americans say that going grocery shopping is a moderate or large risk to their health, according to poll results released by Axios on Tuesday. “The large majority that considers grocery shopping to be risky helps explain shifts toward more online and delivery services,” said Axios in the latest of its weekly national polls about the coronavirus pandemic.

The results came a week after 84 percent of consumers said they would prefer supermarket workers to wear masks. “Grocery stores are scrambling to institute policies that keep consumers and workers feeling safe while also facing labor shortages, supply chain challenges, and growing competition from online retailers,” said the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest, which commissioned the online survey.

When Americans emptied store shelves as stay-at-home orders took effect, it forced many shoppers to try new brands, and may have altered buying habits for good, said AlixPartners. Two out of three consumers tried new products, mostly because their favorite item was out of stock, and a quarter of them say they will stick with the new brand, according to polling for the consulting firm. All age groups said their use of online grocery shopping has increased.

In early April, the CDC recommended that people wear cloth masks in public settings, such as grocery stores, where it is difficult to maintain physical separation from others.

Some 56 percent of people taking part in the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index said they wear a mask some or all of the time compared to 37 percent who say they wear gloves. Thirty percent reported wearing a mask each time they left home.

Older Americans and Republicans were the least likely to regard grocery shopping as hazardous.

“Just 28 percent said having food delivered to their homes poses a moderate or large risk, compared to 33 percent for picking up takeout,” said Axios.