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Will blogging affect your next buy at the store?

Technology is changing how we shop for groceries. "Today" food editor Phil Lempert shares the latest trends in supermarket usage.

News about how different demographic groups interact with the electronic media — especially new media — suggests that there are trends that will change how companies try to sell to us and how we will shop the supermarket.

The 2005 Simultaneous Media Survey conducted by BIGresearch indicates that African Americans and Hispanics seem to be adopting new media in their shopping behavior, integrating phenomena such as blogging, instant messaging and picture phones into their decision-making processes much more than the typical, and Anglo population.

“The mobility of many new media options appears to suit the multitasking lifestyles of African Americans and Hispanics more than whites,” said Joe Pilotta, vice president of research for BIGresearch. “These media represent an extension of word of mouth and pose a serious challenge that marketers will have to deal with.”

For example, when making grocery purchases, 6.4 percent of Hispanics say that instant messaging affects their decision-making, 4.7 percent of Hispanics say the same thing about picture phones, and 4.4 percent of Hispanics reference blogging. In the African-American community, 3.7 percent of respondents say that picture phones affect their grocery purchases, while 3.6 percent say the same thing about blogging and 3.5 percent say it about instant messaging.

The numbers are far smaller among whites, however — 2.4 percent say that instant messaging affects their grocery purchases, 1.8 percent say that blogging has an impact, and 1.5 percent say the same thing about picture phones.With few variations, the same differences among these groups can be seen when making home improvement, telecom and clothing purchases.

What’s your opinion? Let us know how you think technology will help (or hurt) your supermarket shopping experience. Send your comments to:

Phil Lempert is food editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to or by using the mail box below. For more about the latest trends on the supermarket shelves, visit Phil’s Web site at .