By Allison Febrey, Manager, Research & Insights, FMI
Consumers have witnessed a barrage of breaking news headlines over the last two years. Between a pandemic and resulting supply chain issues, and now increased inflation, there are weighty concerns on the minds of shoppers. However, Americans tell us they remain resourceful amid these challenges; they are finding solutions, looking for deals and ultimately adjusting what they buy.
As of mid-February, 48% of shoppers report being extremely or very concerned with COVID-19. While this is the lowest level of concern measured since the pandemic began, almost half of shoppers remain concerned about the pandemic. At the same time, more than half of Americans cite their worries about rising food prices, and 45% are concerned about out-of-stocks.
On top of these concerns, consumers report their weekly grocery spending has gone up by 4% compared to early last year and the majority (72%) of those who have noted increased spending point to rising prices on specific items or brands as the cause of the increase. According to the latest consumer price index, food at home has increased 10% over the past 12 months.
Despite these concerns and the pressures of inflation, consumers are finding solutions. The majority (86%) of shoppers who are worried about rising food prices are making behavior changes, including looking for deals (59%), making substitutions or product changes (58%), changing where or how they buy groceries (48%) or buying more store brands (35%). Notably, shoppers continue to use and rely on many of their go-to grocery stores and grocery shopping methods they adopted during the pandemic.
To learn more about the food shoppers’ journey, download the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2022 Shopper Landscape.
FMI’s 2022 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends includes a series of six-monthly analyses to provide ongoing context for the food shopper’s journey. Each report will be posted online at www.FMI.org/GroceryTrends, and visitors can sign up to be notified when the next report is available.