Gas Prices Still Impact Shopping Behavior

More consumers are taking steps to compensate for rising gasoline prices, as nearly 80 percent of consumers say they will alter their purchase behavior.

This is according to recent research conducted by TNS, which determined that consumers, burdened by high gas prices and a sluggish economy, are looking at ways to cut their spending, starting with their monthly grocery bill. Results show 35 percent say they are trimming down and removing items from their “typical” grocery list to save money.

“Shoppers are careful and watchful of their money and, given the overall level of uncertainty about the economy, it’s not a surprise to us to see consumers rein in their spending on groceries,” said Dan Boehm, TNS senior VP.

But it’s not simply a matter of removing items from a given grocery list. Consumers are also paying close attention to what they’re buying. According to the survey, nearly one-third of consumers are more likely to purchase private label brands than national brands. “For their money, consumers are increasingly seeing an equal or greater value of purchasing more private-label brands,” Boehm said. “This is a great opportunity for marketers to communicate why their brands are superior. They should continue to make being visible in the store a priority.”

As they pay more at the pump and consolidate their shopping lists, consumers are making fewer trips and often choosing to shop at discount stores (32 percent) over traditional retail outlets. “Even as gas prices have receded a little from their peak, our research shows consumers are adjusting their grocery shopping patterns to manage a more uncertain conservative purchase environment,” Boehm said. “More than ever, grocery retailers need to clearly articulate the value proposition they give their shoppers as shoppers make fewer trips per week, buy less and look for discounts.”

TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the consumer, technology, finance, automotive, political and social sectors, specializing in product development and innovation, brand and communication, stakeholder management, retail and shopper, and qualitative research.


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