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PYMNTS: Grocery Stores Will Be the Big Winners This Holiday Season

Special foods and overeating may be synonymous with the holidays, but this year, PYMNTS research shows, the additional cost of groceries alongside an increase in the number of consumers living on tight budgets is leading to supermarkets emerging as the season’s big winners.

Where prior years have seen traditional in-demand gifts and gadgets topping consumers’ shopping lists, in 2022, the high cost of food has absorbed what little slack remained, making the practice, or even necessity, of gifting groceries a reality for many households that are buying only essentials.

The data supports the idea that foodstuffs — not regular stuff — is where people’s hearts and wallets are focused this year. The study “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: Holiday Shopping Edition,” a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration, found that 15 million Americans who bought holiday gifts last year are sitting out gifting altogether in 2022.

Where they are cutting back far less is in holiday meals.

“Just 17% of grocery shoppers expect to spend less on grocery purchases than in 2021, although 26% of retail shoppers plan to spend less on retail purchases in 2022,” the study stated. “Consumers are most likely to spend less at restaurants this year, with 29% of respondents saying they will reduce such spending, followed by entertainment and leisure, with 27% planning to cut back.”

The study also found that cumulatively 81% of shoppers surveyed said they plan to spend as much or more this year than last on groceries, while nonessential spending projections remain depressed.

Click here to read the full PYMNTS article.

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