Two Americas — Dollar General vs. Whole Foods shoppers.

Dollar General vs. Whole Foods Shopper

The data is clear.

There are two Americas, and this is the tale of two drastically different shoppers. It’s a story scary enough to catch the eyes of the Washington Post.1

Yes, the Post is owned by Whole Foods. 

No, the irony isn’t lost on me.

Here’s what is … what we do about it. 

But, I’m not here to answer socioeconomic questions. I’m here to show you the data. So, you can use it to make a difference, in your own brand. Here we go.

Dollar General eats up consumers, as the pandemic draws on.

I want you to see this.

Dollar General eats up consumers, as the pandemic draws on.

You’re looking at a Dollar General consumer journey.

On the left, you can see the top venues most people visited before they walked into the store. To the right, you’ll see the apps + sites they looked at — just 5 minutes before walking inside.

It paints a picture. 

Nancie Norton, a retired teacher’s aide, breathes life into the image. “We buy everything we need at Dollar General. The things they don’t have, we do without.” 

Her story is exactly in line with what you saw last week. Master’s-degree shoppers are 6.5x more likely to go to Dollar General than high school or college grads. 

That may have surprised you. 

It shouldn’t have. 

Here’s why.

Inflation is at an all-time high.3 So, most people who spend 15+ minutes at Dollar General, also hit up the Family Dollar store too. This is the “dollar store boom” the Post is talking about.2 It’s just getting harder and harder for regular consumers to find the money for things they need.

That’s not all.

Before they step inside, buyers grab food at McDonald’s. While it’s not the healthiest fare, it’s what they can afford. And it speaks to why we’re seeing McDonald’s rank so high. If you listen closely enough, it also comments on the lack of nutrition in this consumer segment. 

There’s more. 

They price shop. Most people check out the Dollar General app or website before stepping foot in-store, looking to save more money. And, once they walk out, they’re back on the go, heading to Walmart or Walgreens to pick up more groceries. Or, on to Sonic or Subway for dinner. 

Two Americas — Dollar General vs. Whole Foods shoppers.

Now, wait … because Whole Foods is a whole new story. 

As the middle-class shrinks, Whole Foods goes to war. 

Amazon rules the world.

And, the Whole Foods shopper isn’t rubbing together any pennies. They’re at a much higher price point, a common theme throughout their chart below, while Amazon rakes it all in. Take a look.

As the middle-class shrinks, Whole Foods goes to war. 

That’s not all.

Remember the restaurants? Yes, McDonald’s is frequented by both shoppers. But, I’m thinking about Buffalo Wild Wings + Five Guys vs. Sonic + Subway. There’s a pretty big difference between them.

Whole Foods shoppers can indulge in higher-priced foods, at a much higher rate. Not to mention eat a way more balanced, and healthy diet.

Dollar General buyers … can’t.


Cross the divide.

Here’s your chance.

Now, I know you’re in a business to make a living. But, brands are built on communities too — so, if you can, help out. Learn from your consumers.

Find out what they need. See how you can support the ones who are struggling, and then pitch in. Here’s your 7-day free trial – the data is on us.



By Avani Patel

Reviewed by Theresa Bui

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