In-store bakery sales topped $10.3 billion in the 52 weeks ending May 25, 2013, an increase of 4.7%, according to data from the Nielsen Perishables Group. Among individual products in the bakery, consumers appear to prefer smaller items, such as cookies, rolls and doughnuts.
The alternative meat category is growing as more consumers are exploring products such as tofu, tempeh and seitan. Interestingly, more non-vegetarian consumer are using meat alternatives. One-third of consumers indicate using alternative meat products because they are healthy, higher than any other reason measured in the report.
The retail market for foods and beverages is undergoing some significant changes, as traditional supermarkets face increasing competition from supersized “one-stop shopping” venues, as well as other retail channels, including drugstores, dollar stores, limited assortment chains, and online grocery shopping. Food retailers can retain traffic by being innovative and making the task of grocery shopping easier and less burdensome for their customers.
Like all retailers, grocers are focused on their brick-and-mortar footprint, store remodels/renovations and how best to operate in an omnichannel world. And, because everyone shops for groceries, these retailers must be ready to cater to a wide range of consumer preferences and demands, all the while balancing threats such as fierce competition, fluctuating commodity prices and changing consumer expectations.
With the growing penetration of smartphones, mobile phone applications are quickly becoming the go-to source for countless daily tasks, including finding grocery deals, according to The NPD Group. Tech-savvy consumers are using the Internet and social media to hunt down recipes, shop for food, and connect with their favorite food brands. Social media and the Web are also assisting name brand food manufacturers garner more loyalty with consumers.
The average monthly spend on groceries has steadily increased among the general population from pre- to post-recession. While spending continues to climb, nearly three in four respondents have made changes to their grocery shopping habits within the last year, becoming more cost-conscious before and during their trips. New research reveals the changing behavior among cost-conscious grocery shoppers as they move through the path to purchase in today’s post-recession economy.
Despite a shopping list being a tool to stay on budget and eliminate unnecessary purchases, research shows that nine out of ten shoppers still buy items not on their list, according to new research from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. Of these shoppers who purchase off-list items, 66% say the reason was a sale or promotion, 30% say they found a coupon, and 23% say they simply wanted to pamper themselves.
The current economic situation has exacted a heavy toll on consumers, putting many into a hunker-down mode when it comes to spending. Necessity has driven some of the change; many consumers simply have less money. Others, though, are making a more conscious choice to watch their spending and even change their habits. A more discerning and careful consumer means that both marketers and retailers may have to work harder to meet their needs.
According to new research from Deloitte, savvy consumers are purchasing more private-label and store brand products as prices in food stores escalate and packaging gets smaller. Consumers are also paying more attention to “front-of-package” nutrition information to assist them in making healthier decisions according to the survey. In addition, more than one-fifth (23.5%) of survey respondents expect their smartphone-related grocery shopping activity to increase in 2012.
During the recession, consumers engaged in a variety of behaviors to save money while purchasing food. Sales of store branded-items, use of coupons and endless searching for the lowest prices were popular strategies. A new study released by Market Force Information reveals that grocers should emphasize factors other than price in their marketing now that the recession is fading.
Though some of the economic uncertainty seems to be easing, consumers are maintaining the habits they adopted during the recession. One statistic of particular interest to grocers is the growing percentage of consumers who are eating home-cooked dinners 3 or more times a week. This number has increased from 87% in 2008 to 92% in 2011. The rising interest in cooking and eating at home is an opportunity for grocers who are using new ways to reach consumers.
Private label companies continue to introduce better-for-you products and more attractive packaging, all while being easier on consumers’ pockets. According to Mintel, 44% of grocery shoppers believe store brand products are of better quality today than they were five years ago. Moreover, 39% of respondents who identify themselves as the primary grocery shopper of their household say they would recommend a store brand product. “Private label brands are overcoming the stigma once associated with ‘generic’ products,” adds Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. “Even though the recession has ended, and consumers may be in a better position financially to return to name brands, it’s likely that many will continue to buy store brand staples that are of equal quality.”