Food consumer confidence returns in the United States

Although the confidence of US consumers is beginning to recover, they remain concerned about the cost of food and in this context, 43% indicate that they are paying more than they were paying before the pandemic. In contrast, only 24% say they are paying less for food. As a result, 80% are taking at least one action to search for “value,” with the most popular option being to shop at low-priced stores every day (52%).

Post-pandemic consumers

Consumers are back on the hunt for price in line with the indifferent 2021 Grocery Retailer Preference Index, which posits that the importance of value would return once consumers allayed their concerns about the virus.

"While this release marks the first time since the pandemic hit that consumers are feeling better financially, we are also seeing buying behavior that fuels the search for value," said Grant Steadman, president for North America at dunnhumby. "It is noteworthy that consumers now prioritize value over speed, which was the key driver for much of 2020."

Respondents' confidence recovery aligns with the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, which rose more than 8% in March to its highest level in a year, but still 7% below where it was reported. found before the pandemic. Likewise, respondents' concerns about the higher cost of food also align with the Consumer Price Index Summary, which reported that “the household food index increased 3,5 percent in the last 12 months ».

Key findings of the study:

1.-80% of US consumers look for value and 52% shop at low-priced stores every day.

2.-Walmart, Aldi, Kroger and Amazon Named Top Retailers for Value

Value vs Quality

3.-Value-seeking consumers (70%) far outnumber quality-seeking consumers (13%) in the US Quality-seeking consumers mainly buy in high-quality stores and are willing to pay more. Half of quality seekers are using one of these behaviors: shopping at higher quality stores (38%), being willing to pay more for quality (19%), buying more expensive items (8%), and not lending attention to prices (7%).

4.-Consumers are using multiple purchasing tactics to seek value in the face of rising prices. After shopping at low-priced stores every day (52%), the most popular purchasing tactics by consumers are: buying only a few brands on sale (36%), stocking up on sale or promotional products (36% ), search online to find the best sales (34%), look for coupons online (34%), and shop for private labels when available (33%).

Online mode

5.-Online is now a fully adopted behavior and has been strengthened in each round. In-store purchases have fallen from 77% of all trips in March 2020 to 64% in February 2021, while online purchases (pickup and delivery) have increased from 23% in March 2020 to 36% in February 2021.

6.-The number of online trips is also increasing. In March 2020, consumers reported that online shopping trips accounted for 1.3 of their trips each week, but as of late February 2021, online trips now accounted for 3.6 of their trips each week.

7.-Consumer satisfaction with online purchases has been ahead or equal to in-store purchases since September 2020. Additionally, respondents reported 53% net satisfaction for pickup and 49% for delivery .

Behavior changes

8.-Changes in purchasing behavior driven by the pandemic are stabilizing. Since the beginning of the pandemic, consumers have bought less in stores (63%), made fewer trips to the store (74%), and spent more on each trip (38%).

As of the end of February 2021, 49% of consumers bought in fewer stores, a drop of 14%, and 53% made fewer trips to the store, a drop of 21% and only 21% spent more on each trip , a drop of 17%. %. In fact, respondents said they made 6.4 trips (including online) to the store weekly in February 2021 compared to 3.8 in March 2020.

In February 2021, supermarkets led all retailers with the most weekly shopping trips (68%), followed by convenience stores. (29%), hypermarkets / clubs (20%), discount stores (20%) and pharmacies (15%).

9.-Walmart continues to dominate all stores when it comes to value. 33% of respondents mentioned Walmart first when asked which stores offer the best value, followed by Kroger and Aldi, both tied at 10%, and then by Amazon at 6%.

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