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Group Array of Objects with Array.prototype.group

In this post you’re going to learn how to group an array of objects with the upcoming Array.prototype.group method.

I recently had the requirement to group an array of objects by a property, and like any good developer - I wanted to explore the upcoming ECMAScript standards to see if anything new had arrived.

It did…

Array.prototype.group is almost here, now at a Stage 3 in the ECMAScript proposal, and is a superb utility function to easily add a “group by” functionality to your data structures.

Let’s assume the following basic data structure, and take note of the type property:

const data = [
  { type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' },
  { type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' },
  { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' }
];

We have two values, 'food' and 'drink'. Ideally, we would render them individually, passing to perhaps a separate render function or component.

This would be what we want to create:

const result = {
  food: [
    { type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' },
    { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' }
  ],
  drink: [
    { type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' }
  ]
}

So, how could we do it? With the addition of the Array.prototype.group method, it becomes a simple one-liner:

const data = [
  { type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' },
  { type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' },
  { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' }
];
const result = data.group((item) => item.type);

// ✅ { food: [ { type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' }, { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' } ], drink: [ { type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' } ] }
console.log(result);

When combined with some object destructuring, things become even more streamlined and elegant:

const data = [
  { type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' },
  { type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' },
  { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' }
];
const { food, drink } = data.group((item) => item.type);

// ✅ [{ type: 'food', name: 'Pizza' }, { type: 'food', name: 'Hot Dog' }]
console.log(food);
// ✅ [{ type: 'drink', name: 'Coffee' }]
console.log(drink); 

Want to go further? Check out my follow-up article on creating your own group by function with reduce! It includes an in-depth ‘build your own’ function that will help you learn what’s happening behind the scenes.

🏆 P.S. check out my latest JavaScript courses if you’re serious about taking your skills to the top.

Thanks for reading, happy grouping!

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