Americans are preparing more meals at home, eating out less as consumers cut back on spending
ARLINGTON, VA — Despite ongoing concerns about high prices, shoppers are optimistic about their financial situations heading into the holidays and are finding ways to feed their families and meet their needs at the grocery store, according to FMI—The Food Industry Association’s new U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, Holiday Season report.
“While consumers are understandably concerned about their finances amidst continued inflation heading into the holidays, shoppers are proving to be just as resilient when it comes to preparing for their holiday meal celebrations,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “From looking for deals, shopping around at different stores and cooking more meals at home, shoppers remain excited for the holidays despite planning to ‘make do with less’ this year.”
“Interestingly, while shoppers tell us they are saving money by going out to eat less, they are also taking advantage of expanded foodservice options at their local grocer. Shoppers are increasingly enjoying ‘hybrid’ meals that pair food made at home alongside semi- or fully- prepared items from the grocery store. This hybrid approach can offer shoppers tremendous value during this hectic season by offering convenience and affordability for any holiday meal celebration.”
Cooking at home continues to be a key tactic used by shoppers to manage their expenses, with 31% saying they are preparing meals at home more often, and more than half planning to cook and eat more of their meals at home in the coming year. Alternatively, 60% of shoppers say they are eating out less, and just 14% of shoppers say they plan to dine out more in 2024.
Interestingly, 20% of shoppers say they are actually buying more groceries as a way to contain their food spending, which helps explain why the average weekly grocery spend per household is currently $155/week. While that is higher than the $148/week shoppers were spending last October, it is a decrease from the $164/week from February of this year.
Most shoppers (over 80%) are excited for the holidays this year, with 18% of consumers planning a celebration with more people than usual for the December holidays.
FMI’s latest U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report also revealed:
- 30% plan on looking for deals when shopping for their holiday meals.
- 28% are willing to shop at different grocers to find the best deals.
- 53% plan to eat at home more in 2024.
- 52% plan to cook more meals at home in 2024.
Members of the media may contact FMI for a gratis copy of the 2023 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, Holiday Season report. This is the final report in a five-part series released this year. Learn more and find related resources at www.FMI.org/GroceryTrends.