Consumers are faced with the harsh reality of paying more to get less at the grocery store this holiday season.
Market Force surveyed over 2,000 consumers about their experience and satisfaction with major grocery brands across the country.
Over 50% of consumers say that inflation has changed their spending at the grocery store in 2022, with about a third saying that inflation will influence the way they celebrate with family and friends this holiday season.
Higher Prices Force Consumers to Think More Strategically About Shopping
Many consumers related strategies that could be categorized as “being more intentional” with planning and shopping. Some specific strategies involve increased meal planning, an increased use of coupons, monitoring sales to save money with bulk buying, buying less prepared food and less meat, or otherwise trading down to store brands or white label goods.
Lower- and Middle-Income Families Are Hit Hardest
According to Phil Doriot, Market Force’s VP of Customer Success and Analytics, consumers with lower- or middle-income levels (between $25,000 and $75,000) are most likely to have changed their behavior and families in the Southwestern U.S. report being impacted most often.
“These families are being forced to change their shopping and eating habits, because of higher prices,” says Doriot.
The Holidays Will be Different This Year
Across the US, 33% of consumers say that higher grocery prices will change their holiday food shopping and holiday celebrations.
Consumers are coping with higher prices at the holidays by slimming down their menus, inviting fewer friends and family to holiday festivities, or by asking guests to bring dishes to round out the meal or party.
Doriot says the additional strain may have a positive side.
“A shared experience, even if it is one of sacrifice, has the potential to bring loved ones together,” says Doriot. “The holiday season is a wonderful time to focus on our important relationships.”