U.S. consumers emerged from the recession practiced at stretching their dollars, and now faced with rising food costs they’re turning to the cost savings tactics they’ve mastered over the past few years. That’s the word market research company The NPD Group, which notes that shopping at discount stores is one tactic that shoppers have embraced.
“During the recession consumers adopted thriftier spending behaviors, and as time went on they became comfortable with making concessions and getting by with less,” says Dori Hickey, director of product development at NPD and author of the special report, “What’s Next on the Road to Recovery.” “At the height of the recession consumers said they used coupons more, were stocking up on sale items, buying more private labels, and shopping at discount stores more, among other money-saving strategies. With food prices rising and consumers experienced at getting the most from their food dollars, consumers are going to be increasing these types of behaviors once again,” Hickey adds.
According to NPD’s The Economy Tracker, which monitors consumer sentiment about the economy and spending, a greater percentage of consumers, 21.9%, plan to increase their spending on groceries over the upcoming months, which is up from 16.6% in February. In March, 40.1 percent of consumers voiced plans to spend more on gasoline over the upcoming months, up from 27.6% in February.