Consumer Digest: November
Welcome to the November edition of the Consumer Digest, where we aim to provide relevant, informative and actionable insights around consumer trends and what consumers value. This month, we unpack sustainability shopping practices, how shoppers are responding to price increases, shoppers holiday plans and what food away from home looks like at this point in the pandemic.
Sustainable Shopping Practices
28% of consumers care about overall sustainability when grocery shopping. Specifically, shoppers care most about avoiding food waste whenever possible, and over a third think it’s important to use a reusable grocery bag. Cutting out single-use items and plastic packaging are both important to about a quarter of consumers.
Response to Price Increases – “Say vs. Do”
Customers continue to feel the effects of increasing price across categories, primarily in Meat/Seafood, Produce, and Dairy. Although shoppers claim they would cut back on certain categories as a result of increasing price, Sales in Dollars and Units per Household have remained flat across departments over the last 12 weeks ending 11/6/21.
- 95% and 92% of shoppers plan to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving this year, respectively.
- When it comes to shopping, over half will be using both in-store and online channels for their gatherings.
- 45% of consumers will be going to a celebration at a family member or friend’s home.
- 66% say having more sales/promotions on seasonal items would make the grocery shopping experience better, while 50% would like to see more items in stock.
Cooking, Carryout & Curbside
Grocery stores continue to capture the majority of “share of stomach” at 69%. Restaurants come in second at 26% of the food dollar. Third place – likely someone else’s house.
Food Away From Home (FAFH)
- 28% of consumers are going out to eat less often than last month, compared to only 12% eating out more often.
- Top reasons for lessening eating out: it’s too expensive, it’s healthier to eat at home, prefer cooking at home and COVID concerns.
- Nearly a quarter of consumers feel very uncomfortable going out to eat around other people, displaying a potential lasting impact of the pandemic.
- Some consumers are also noticing a drop in level of service, as a quarter say the service they are receiving when they go out to eat is worse than normal.
Healthy Food Trends
Low sugar, clean/simple ingredients, and high protein food trends rank highest in terms of importance to shoppers, while food trends surrounding specific diets (e.g., plant-based, keto, paleo, gluten-free) all rank lower in importance, suggesting a potentially more niche market.
SOURCES: 1) 84.51° Consumer Pulse Survey, November 2021 2) 84.51° Stratum 3) % who increased vs. decreased spend for last 12 weeks ending 11/6/21 compared to the prior 12 weeks