Consumers Choose Quality Over Low Prices

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Consumers Choose Quality Over Low Prices

By Alex Palmer - 09/27/2009
Even in these tough times, quality trumps price for American shoppers, new research has found. According to a new study by IBM, 72 percent of respondents are more concerned with the quality of the food they’re buying than the price. Additionally, nine out of 10 say that value as well as nutrition will be of equal or greater importance after the recession.

The survey, conducted by Princeton, N.J.-based Braun Research and based on telephone interviews with 4,000 people in the United States, found that a full 68 percent of respondents feel nutrition is the most important consideration when shopping for food.

Value still matters, however, with 49 percent saying they’re looking for the best deal. Thirty-five percent said they changed their grocery store in an effort to save money. Additionally, 52 percent of consumers are reducing the volume of food they purchase from the grocery store.

“Consumers are reducing spending in certain store aisles but maintaining or even increasing spending in others as they put a lot more thought into the brands they purchase and the type of products they need,” said Guy Blissett, consumer products leader for Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Institute for Business Value.

When asked what product they’d most likely spend an extra $10 for, the top choice was dessert foods. Fifty-one percent of shoppers said they would purchase more of the items on their shopping list, or buy the products in bulk packages. Thirteen percent of those making less than $45,000 said they’d purchase more convenient versions of foods they already buy -- such as pre-cut vegetables.

Looking at the long-term impact of these shopping habits, the research found that 60 percent of consumers expect that they’ll continue shopping around for the best deals when the recession ends. Significantly more Americans (92 percent) say that value will be of equal or greater importance in their food shopping, while 90 percent say the same about nutrition.