Just as we're breathing a sigh of relief about the easing of the Great Recession, the rising costs of commodities present further challenges for food marketers and shoppers. Consumers are well aware of the looming prices increases for their favorite foods. Many are already calculating the best ways to save money. Marketers who plan to court these consumers should consider using an aggressive coupon strategy this year.
New research conducted jointly by Harris Interactive and Coupons.com shows that consumers will take the following steps to try to save money on food:
- Use coupons: 72%
- Compare unit prices/package sizes: 71%
- Shop at discount grocery stores: 66%
- Buy more products when prices are low: 64%
- Buy in bulk: 57%
The research also uncovered some behavioral differences with respect to education levels. College graduates are more likely than other consumer groups to compare unit prices when determining which package size to buy. In addition, college graduates use coupons at a higher rate (78%) than consumers who have not graduated from high school (51%).
Consumers also exhibit shopping behaviors linked to gender. Women are far more likely to take steps that involve planning ahead when food shopping. They use coupons (78%), compare unit prices (75%) and stock up when prices are low (68%) at far higher levels than men.
Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.com Incorporated, says, “ consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to stretching budgets.” Food marketers will need to stay one step ahead of these consumers. When launching a new product line, coupons and other promotional strategies will be important this year.[Source: Rising Food Prices are Hitting Home. Harrisinteractive.com. 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2011]