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As the “great recession” continues and consumers hear conflicting messaging about when the U.S. economy will improve, shoppers from all income levels are increasingly seeking out and taking advantage of deals at the grocery store. Whether in the form of store promotion or deal or manufacturers’ coupons, deal rates are up more than 8 percent from a year ago for households earning more than $70,000, a faster rise than the 6 percent uptick for middle-income households ($30,000-$69,900) and 5 percent gain for lower-income households earning less than $30,000 per year.
Those affluent households are also making more trips to the grocery store, accounting for the largest share (41 percent) of total basket ring dollars vs. middle-income and low-income households. For the past 13 periods, affluent households posted trip growth in every period, while grocery trips by middle-income households were about flat and grocery trips among low-income households were off in all periods.
Affluent households are also driving faster trip growth in value retail channels like supercenters, warehouse clubs and dollar stores, but their overall importance to the sales in each channel ranges from a low of 19 percent for dollar stores to a high of 57 percent for warehouse clubs. “We see opportunity to use different assortment, pricing and promotional programs targeted to the ’shopper income’ draw of a particular store. And while value messaging needs to be prominent in these tough times, it can’t all be about low prices,” says Todd Hale, SVP, consumer and shopper insight.