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Prepared Foods: Consumers Manage Shopping During Inflation, Opt for Plant-Based Foods and Look Toward Seasonal Offerings

Concern for inflation and overall finances is slowly falling, but how are shoppers responding to price increases in store? What motivates shoppers to select plant-based alternatives in their food shop? And how is the cooler weather affecting shopper habits? 84.51°, a Cincinnati-based data company that helps Kroger and its partners create customer-centric shopper journeys, unpacks these insights and more in its Consumer Digest.

Based on real-time insights surveys from September 2022, here’s the latest on shopper trends and behavioral analytics:

Shopper Concern – Signs for Optimism & Behavioral Changes In a fall from last month, 46% of shoppers are feeling uncomfortable with their finances while 64% still report looking for sales, deals or coupons. Fifty-four percent are cutting back on non-essentials and 63% are cutting back on areas besides groceries, such as clothing and entertainment.

Customers are still making changes to avoid price increases. The most common of these include switching from delivery/takeout pizza to frozen pizza and shopping in bulk. Other emerging behaviors from shoppers include 16% switching to bar soap and 12% switching from packaged to rotisserie chicken.

Growing Taste for Plant-Based Alternatives Shoppers are purchasing plant-based alternatives for a variety of reasons including health, environmental benefits, to save, and because of the wide variety now available. The age demographic of those purchasing plant-based options skews young as 59% of shoppers between 18-34 have engaged in the category vs 40% of shoppers 50+.

The most common categories for plant-based switching are:

  • Milk alternatives (25%)

  • Frozen meat alternatives (18%)

  • Coffee creamer alternatives (14%)

  • Frozen meal alternatives (14%)

Fall: Cooler Weather and Eating Habits With the cooler weather creeping in, shoppers are changing the way they consume their meals.

  • 47% are eating out less for dinner

  • 48% are eating out less for lunch

  • 52% are eating out less for breakfast

Click here to read the full Prepared Food article.

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