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March Consumer Digest

March 17, 2022

Welcome to the March 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 look at how shoppers are fighting inflation, Easter baskets, top categories where consumers say they are willing to switch to a new brand and shoppers concerns around sustainability.

Rising prices and the impact it’s having on shoppers

Overall concern on inflation continues to grow:

  • 45% are extremely concerned with inflation vs. only 35% last month.
  • Consumers are still noticing an increase in prices across categories such as Meat/Seafood (88%), Produce (80%), and Dairy (77%).
  • 60% have been looking for sales, promotions, and coupons more often.
  • 42% have been purchasing fewer items on their grocery trips and have switched to a lower cost brand on items they normally would purchase. Total Units/Trip have decreased ~9% in March ‘22 vs Jan ‘22.
  • As consumers continue to watch their spending, they’re likely to cut back in categories such as adult beverages (56%), snacks (55%), and beauty (49%).

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Making the switch to a different brand

  • In the last year, 52% of consumers have tried a new brand that they are now purchasing on a regular basis.
  • If items are out of stock, 29% of consumers will look to buy a different brand.
  • Top categories where consumers say they are willing to switch to a new brand, private label or a more premium brand: paper products (59%), shelf-stable (55%), household cleaning (54%), dairy and frozen foods tie at 44%.

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Rising gas prices

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Climate concern does not always tie to grocery decisions

  • Shoppers are generally more concerned about sustainability in non-food related categories, such as Household Cleaning, Paper Products, and Personal Care.
  • Categories with the lowest levels of concern include Cereal (38%), Snacks/Candy (35%) and Baby Care (24%)
  • 32% of shoppers are extremely concerned about climate change, but only 21% of shoppers are extremely concerned about the overall sustainability of the grocery products they purchase. This means that there’s a disconnect in how they think they can impact climate change with purchases.

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Chocolate is the treat of choice for easter baskets

  • For the 56% of shoppers who plan to make an Easter Basket this year, chocolate is the treat of choice.
  • What else is in Easter shopping baskets: Toys (22%), Books (16%), Gift Cards (12%), and Money (11%).

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