Lower Gas Prices Mean More Spending at the Grocery Store. The new report, “The Why? Behind The Buy” analyzes consumers’ shopping decisions.åÊAcosta released the 11th edition of The Why? Behind the Buy‰ã¢ report which analyzes how Americans grocery shop and what drives consumers‰Ûª purchase decisions. Acosta‰Ûªs latest research outlines shifts in the consumer decision-making process to help CPG companies and retailers hone their sales and marketing strategies.

‰ÛÏGrocery shopping has become a complex, consumer-centric matrix of options as Americans have more choices today than ever before,‰Û said Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President, Acosta. ‰ÛÏAs consumers report saving an average of $67 per month due to lower gas prices, and directing some of those savings to food and groceries, there are even more decisions to make on what, where and how to buy. By better understanding current shopper behaviors and purchase drivers, brands and retailers can successfully convert these extra dollars into incremental sales.‰Û

The Why? Behind the Buy reveals:

Lower gas prices enable consumers to spend elsewhere. Most shoppers indicate they will use gas savings for food/groceries, paying bills and going out more.

‰Û¢åÊSpecifically, 72% of shoppers ages 18-34 indicate they will be spending their fuel savings on groceries.

Shoppers don‰Ûªt mind store surfing to meet their needs. The average shopper reported visiting about 7 different store locations to buy groceries in the past 6 months. While shoppers are still buying groceries most often in a regular supermarket, the generational tide is turning with Gen X and Millennial shoppers.

‰Û¢åÊ95% of U.S. shoppers report buying household groceries at regular supermarkets in the past 6 months; followed by shopping at mass merchants (79%); warehouse/club stores (42%); dollar and drug stores (39%); convenience stores (25%); natural/organic grocers (21%).

‰Û¢åÊMillennial and Gen X shoppers show slightly greater interest in drug stores, convenience stores and natural/organic grocers than total U.S. shoppers.

‰Û¢åÊ27% of shoppers reported purchasing a grocery item online at least once a month, over the past year, up from 23% reported in the 10th Edition study. 4 in 10 of those currently shopping online said that they expect to increase their order frequency in the next year.

Shopper decisions vary based on purchase category, brands and household influencers.

‰Û¢åÊWhile about 7 in 10 shoppers make the decision to shop a particular category at home, 55% of shoppers typically decide what brand to buy while in the store.

‰Û¢åÊShoppers feel that name brands are more important in some categories than in others.

‰Û¢åÊWhen it comes to product loyalty, 65% of shoppers will switch products if their specific item was unavailable; 20% will wait until the next trip; 11% will go to another store; and 4% are not sure what they would do. (Data based on average of 50 categories tracked)

‰Û¢åÊAlthough marketing tactics definitely impact purchase decisions, the success of approaches varies by category.

‰Û¢åÊNot surprisingly, female shoppers and shoppers with children in their household are spending the most time in the grocery store.

‰Û¢åÊNew product purchase drivers vary by category, from finding a new product interesting, to being interested in a new flavor/type, or finding the item on sale.

Your advertisers might want to capture the leftover dollars from the pump by focusing on frequent grocery shoppers. AudienceSCAN defines frequent grocery shoppers as those who shop at grocery stores/supermarkets more than 5 times per week (6.8%), and those who shop 4-5 times per week (6%). Shockingly, 57% of frequent grocery shoppers are men! They are 84% more likely than average consumers to be ages 18-24. They are urban dwellers ‰ÛÒ 46% live in city centers.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.