Young Woman Shopping In The Supermarket Grocery Store.reading In
Young woman shopping in the supermarket grocery store.Reading ingredients,declaration or expiration date on a dairy product before buying it.Nutritional values of the food.Lactose intolerance

As food prices continue to rise, consumers are adapting to fit essential food purchases into their budget. And, according to a new report from Deloitte, their persistent frugality could soon pay off, driving costs back down.   

Drawing from the findings of its State of Consumer Tracker, Deloitte identified six grocery behaviors with a strong connection to consumer frugality — half of those behaviors relate to how consumers are economizing and the other half represents what trade-offs they’re making. 

In an effort to economize, many global consumers Deloitte surveyed in January reported limiting how much they buy:

  • More than four in 10 consumers said they shopped based on what food they have at home. Consumers are becoming more cautious about food waste, buying more frozen and shelf-stable foods, and ensuring they have a meal plan for any fresh food purchases. New products and promotions will be less appealing to these shoppers.
  • More than 30% of shoppers only bought essentials. These consumers may also be hesitant to take risks with new products and will be less influenced by promotions.
  • One in five consumers reported that they bought less than they wanted to during recent grocery store visits. These are consumers who are not just being frugal — they may also be facing food insecurity.  

Shoppers also said they’re making trade-offs to cut costs, opting for less expensive items so they can still get all the items on their list: 

  • Almost a third of consumers bought lower-cost meats or cuts.
  • Nearly 30% purchased mostly store brands to save money. Shoppers tend to stick to this switch, and while this behavior has benefited private and store-labeled products, it may present a challenge for CPG brands.
  • Close to three in 10 shoppers bought lower-cost ingredients, choosing items like dried beans, rice, and lentils instead of expensive alternatives.

Though inflation seems to be loosening its grip, consumers surveyed in January said they’re being almost as frugal as they were five months prior. In time, this collective frugality may cost retailers and CPG brands their pricing power and ultimately reduce food inflation.

For more insights, see Deloitte’s full report

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