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Consumers Spooked by Inflation Will Change Shopping Behaviors

New study from Numerator shows that shoppers will switch to lower-priced brands
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Consumers Spooked by Inflation Will Change Shopping Behaviors
Ninety percent of consumers say they will shift shopping habits as prices spike.

While politicians and financial gurus continue to weigh in on inflationary trends, the data firm Numerator went right to consumers to ask how they feel about rising prices.

According to a new Numerator study based on shopper queries during June and July, four in five consumers said they have noticed price hikes on their frequently purchased groceries and household goods. Further, two-thirds say that they expect such items to go up even more over the next six months and 54% are moderately or significantly concerned about having to pay higher prices.

Those expectations and concerns are translating into actions, with an overwhelming 90% of respondents saying that they plan to change shopping behaviors with price increases. More than half are already making changes. Those shifts include switching to lower priced brands, seeking more promotions and discounts and cutting back discretionary spending on things like restaurant dining, apparel, electronics and travel.

Numerator’s study found that 49% of shoppers will switch to lower priced brands with slight inflation, while 60% will make that move if significant inflation arrives.

According to Eric Belcher, CEO for Chicago-based Numerator, grocers can and should be paying need to shopper sentiments. “Forward-thinking brands and retailers move at the speed of consumers so the time-to-insight is critical,” he said.

Other recent research has likewise indicated a concerned consumer base amid inflation fears. A preliminary sentiment index from the University of Michigan dipped to 80.8% in July from 85.5% in June, attributed to concerns about rising prices.

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