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Consumer Digest: Inflation Special Edition - April 2023

Welcome to the April edition of the Consumer Digest, where we aim to provide relevant, informative and actionable insights around consumer trends. This month, we are focusing on inflation. We’ll first look at consumer sentiment around how much longer it will last. From there, we’ll dive into changes shoppers are making—and plan to make — as summer approaches to cope with higher prices. Finally, we will wrap with what’s in shoppers’ baskets for mom this Mother’s Day.

Do shoppers feel inflation is near an end?

Shopper concern over inflation is at its lowest level since October 2022, though still high at 65% concerned.

Overall, 32% of shoppers believe inflation at its current high level will end in 12 months or less, 28% think 1-2 years. Younger consumers aged 25 to 34 are the most optimistic, thinking inflation will only last 3-6 months from now.

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How shoppers are feeling about their finances

While more shoppers say they are feeling uncomfortable vs. feeling comfortable about their finances, the majority feel fairly neutral.

33% of shoppers say they can cover their monthly expenses but have little left over, while 27% say they are living paycheck to paycheck to cover monthly expenses.

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Pinching pennies since 2022 - Inflation impacts in all aspects of life

As inflation persists, shoppers are most concerned with rising prices in everyday necessary purchases like fuel, utilities, and food. Zeroing in on how they put food on the table, shoppers are increasingly consuming from grocery stores (+5% month over month), despite only 25% say they enjoy grocery shopping and 39% say they enjoy cooking.

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Save at the shelf – Shopping in response to rising prices

The extended inflationary period exacerbates the savings behavior shoppers have exhibited throughout the last year.

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Hello summer! Savings & celebrations for the season

Shoppers are ready for fun in the sun with 34% intending to buy more items that they can grill/ smoke/ cook outside, 29% expecting to shop at local markets, and 28% planning to purchase sun/ bug protection. 

However, shoppers are also anticipating some savings-oriented changes. 

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Plans for Mother’s Day and Earth Day 

How shoppers are planning a special Mother’s Day meal…

  • 15% Make breakfast at home

  • 13% Make dinner at home

  • 12% Make lunch/brunch at home

  • 10% Go to lunch/brunch at a family/friend’s house

How will you celebrate Earth Day / Earth Month?

  • 25% Spend time outside (e.g., walking / biking / hiking / etc.)

  • 18% Use re-usable bags

  • 17% Use a refillable water bottle

  • 13% Will ‘reduce, reuse, recycle'

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SOURCE: 84.51° Real Time Insights, April 2023

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