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4 Things to Know About Shoppers’ Holiday Spending Plans

Inmar Intelligence, 84.51° and other firms share insights, projections
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
holiday spending survey
(Image source: 84.51°)

If the 2020s are a mood – marked by a pandemic, inflation, geopolitical conflicts and other macro events influencing consumer behavior – the accompanying holiday seasons have their own kind of non-traditional vibe. This year is shaping up to be another period of uncertainty that spills over into the ways that people celebrate the holidays.

[Read more: "Spooky Season Kicks Off With New Trends"]

Analytics firms are out with some of their predictions for the upcoming holidays, sharing insights that grocers can keep in mind with their merchandising and promotion efforts. Below are four key trends set to influence shoppers’ plans and purchases.

  1. The bottom line is tops: According to the new 2023 Spending Survey from Inmar Intelligence, 76% of consumers are concerned about the impact of inflation on holiday spending this year and 54% say that the most stressful part about the season is being able to afford everything they need. Another recent study from Deloitte found that 86% of shoppers expect higher prices in the food and beverage category, compared to 72% who expect higher prices across all categories.  
  2. ‘Tis the season for deals: With that price-oriented mindset, customers are actively seeking savings. Inmar found that 72% of respondents will look for coupons or promo codes when making holiday purchases and an overwhelming 85% say they will compare and research prices before buying goods for the holidays. 
  3. Home for the holidays: Factors from cost concerns to a desire to spend more time with friends and family are expected to keep celebrations close to home. New research from by 84.51°, Kroger’s retail data science, insights, and media company, reveals that 58% of shoppers plan to purchase holiday food at a store to be prepared at home, up 21% from 2022.
  4. Side shows become a main attraction: As shoppers prepare more holiday meals at home, they are set to pass a lot of side dishes. According to 84.51°’s research, side dishes moved to the head of consumers’ intended grocery list for the holidays, bumping main courses to an “unfamiliar” second place.

As the holiday selling gets underway, there’s also some merry news. Deloitte’s research indicates that nearly all – 95%  – of consumers plan to shop for the holiday season this year, up from 92% last year and 88% in 2021.

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