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    Grocery Shopping Behavior Shifts, Some Changes Permanent

    The recession and related consumer financial concerns are driving dramatic change in shopping and eating behavior, Retail Forward reports.

    The recession and related consumer financial concerns are driving dramatic change in shopping and eating behavior, Retail Forward reports. Recent Retail Forward ShopperScape™ survey findings indicate that shoppers are limiting spending on food and other household necessities, trading down (in terms of both products and retailers), seeking deals and shifting their grocery shopping and eating patterns.

    “Our ShopperScape™ findings reveal that for many shoppers some of these changes will be permanent,” comments Kelly Tackett, Senior Consultant with Retail Forward and author of the Retail Forward Intelligence System™ report. “The results of our survey signal the need for food, drug and mass retailers and their manufacturer partners to prepare now and adapt to a ‘new normal’ in shopping behavior,” she adds.

    Significant ShopperScape™ findings highlighted in the Retail Forward study include:
    • Tactics for limiting spending on food and household items—especially curbing impulse purchases—are popular.
    • Almost as popular are tactics related to trading down in terms of the types of grocery products shoppers are buying, which means buying fewer premium products, buying more private brands and eliminating “just too expensive” food items from shopping lists.
    • Shoppers also are changing how and where they shop for groceries—coupon-clipping, stockpiling and consolidating shopping are common tactics being deployed.
    • Shopper usage of most money-saving tactics tends to increase with age, peaking among 45 to 54 year-olds before tapering off in the oldest age groups.
    • Not surprisingly, larger shares of lower-income shoppers tend to be adopting a greater variety of money-saving tactics than shoppers with higher household income.
    • Behaviors most likely to be adopted permanently by shoppers: Buying fewer items that seem “just too expensive,” buying fewer items on impulse, coupon-clipping and using store circulars to plan the shopping trip.

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