7 Inventions That Made Grocery Shopping Easier
(Last Updated On: September 25, 2020)


7 Inventions That Made Grocery Shopping Easier – It wasn’t until 1859 that the first grocery stores were established in the country. These tiny stores were usually less than 1,000 square feet. They usually only sold dry goods and non-perishable items. Frequently, instead of shopping for themselves, the shopper handed the grocer their list. Since that time, the country has seen many changes in the way Americans shop for groceries. Most of these changes have made it much more convenient to buy groceries.

Here are 7 inventions that have made grocery shopping more convenient.

1. Self-Service Grocery Stores

The first self-service grocery store wasn’t established until 1916. This is when Clarence Saunders opened Piggly Wiggly in Memphis. Throughout the 1920s, several grocery store chains opened throughout the U.S. Among the first stores were Kroger and A&P.

2. Shopping Carts

The first shopping cart was invented in 1937. The inventor, Sylvan Goldman, was distressed at seeing women put groceries in their wicker baskets. When the baskets became too heavy, the women quit shopping. Called a “folding basket carrier,” these carts didn’t take off right away, despite the convenience they offered. It wasn’t until the rise of the supermarket that more shoppers recognized the benefits of using one.

3. Supermarkets

By 1960, over 70 percent of the nation bought their groceries at large stores called supermarkets. But it’s more than just groceries these supermarkets had to offer. Along with food, supermarkets provided a convenient way for shoppers to buy beverages and household products.

4. Grocery Bags

For many years, the brown paper bag was the most common type of bag for carrying groceries. While brown paper bags were sturdy enough, it could be challenging to carry several bags of groceries at once. It became more convenient to carry groceries in plastic bags, which were equipped with handles. These plastic bags made their debut in the United States in 1979. At first, only a few grocery stores used plastic bags. It wasn’t until 1985 that a large majority of supermarkets offered plastic bags. It took even longer for the general public to embrace the plastic bags. Eventually, so many people began using plastic bags that they are now considered a hazard to the environment. Because of this, many grocery stores are going back to paper. Many customers also use reusable bags.

5. Credit Cards

Credit cards were invented in 1958, but it took grocery stores a long time to accept this form of payment. Before grocers accepted credit cards, most customers paid by check. In many instances, paying by check caused increased wait times in line. Before 1991, only 800 supermarkets accepted credit cards. After 1992, more than 5,000 supermarkets began to take this convenient form of payment.

6. Self-Checkout

The first-self checkout, called “the service robot,” was invented in 1992. By 2003, supermarkets across the country offered self-checkouts. This convenient way of grocery shopping reduces long checkout lines so that people can get in and out of the store more quickly.

7. Online Shopping

Nowadays, people don’t even have to set foot in the store to buy their groceries. They can buy their groceries online from the convenience of their own home. As an added convenience, the groceries get delivered right to their front door. According to the latest statistics, there are about 93 million online grocery purchasers.

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