With a greater of selection of food markets, specialty stores and bulk discounters comes greater efficiency and cost savings for shoppers.
However, sometimes the reverse is true.
"It's a very competitive environment for groceries, which is great news for shoppers," said Tobie Stanger, a senior editor at Consumer Reports. "That competition drives down prices."
But on the flip side, now it's not unusual to do your shopping at not only the grocery store but the farmers' market, warehouse club and big-box retailer, too — all in a typical week. Each month, 68 percent of Americans shop at least five different types of food retailers, according to the Hartman Group, a consulting firm for the food industry.