Consumers Are Switching Stores as Grocery Prices Rise
And it's not the only way they're trying to save money.
You may already know that prices for a lot of popular commodities and food products have been trending upward as of late, owing to a potent mix of supply snags and soaring demand. Now, the cumulative effect of those prices increases on everything from pork to Parmesan is starting to trickle down to shoppers, inspiring them to be more mindful when it comes to where they shop at what things cost.
That insight comes from a survey by Inmar, which suggests that food prices (or at least peoples' perception of prices), is causing consumers to be a bit choosier, to the point of ditching some of their old habits about what to buy and where to shop in the process.
Of the 1,000 customers surveyed back on May 10, nearly 83 percent said they're "actively looking" for ways to save money on groceries. That translates to two-thirds of them (about 68 percent) switching to a new retailer because they believe the prices they've paid for groceries at their usual spot have gone up.
Perhaps a bit ironically given that lack of loyalty, a majority of respondents said they've also joined at least one store's loyalty program, and 52 percent are considering a wholesale club (think Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's) in order to save by buying in bulk.
For consumers opting to consider cost above all else, there's a certain sense of trade-off. While almost 87 percent of respondents essay they buy store brands in order to save money, 57 percent regard them as being inferior to name-brand products.
Despite the increased concern over rising prices, consumer behavior may not match up with reality. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices only increased 0.4 percent from March to April, and only 1.2 percent over the past year. When you compare it to the broader consumer price index, which jumped 4.2 percent over the 12-month period ending in April 2021, food prices actually look pretty stable.
So if you find yourself scanning prices a little more closely when you shop, you're certainly not alone these days. Just don't forget to splurge on a name brand every now and then, as a treat.