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    How Today’s Cost-Conscious Grocery Shoppers Tick

    Study provides marketers with insights into consumers’ ‘new normal’

    While grocers and CPG manufacturers are still figuring out how to navigate the post-recession economy, consumers are also trying to find the best ways to maximize their monthly spend.

    A new research report sponsored by MaxPoint Interactive reveals the changing behavior among cost-conscious grocery shoppers as they move through the path to purchase in today’s post-recession economy.

    “Reaching Today’s Cost-Conscious Consumer” reveals that 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.

    Some of the ways cost-conscious grocery shoppers in the U.S. have changed their behavior include the following:

    - Shopping Closer to Home and Shopping Multiple Grocery Stores
    More than 40 percent of moms and those age 25-54 indicate that in the past year they have started shopping multiple grocery stores to get the best prices and deals.

    - Leveraging Coupons and Sales More
    Close to half of all respondents and 50.4 percent of Moms said they clip coupons and scan their loyalty cards regularly for savings. On average, 26 percent of respondents use some form of digital coupons. Moms are most likely to use digital coupons, with nearly a third using digital methods to find coupons. Three in four respondents said they are more likely to try a new product at the grocery store if they have a coupon for it.

    - Preparing Lists Before Shopping
    Sixty-two percent of respondents regularly make lists before going grocery shopping and more than half make their list using general product categories, rather than specific brands. Three in five decide which brand to purchase while they are in the store based on price, coupons and special promotions.

    - Using More Resources Such as Digital Channels to Prepare for Shopping Trips
    More than 90 percent of shoppers regularly research products online before purchasing them in-store. Moms and those age 25-54 are more likely than adults 18 and over to use the Internet to prepare for grocery shopping trips.

    - Heading to Recipe-Specific Destination Sites to Prepare for Shopping
    Moms are also the most likely group of respondents to use digital methods to find recipes when preparing for a trip to the grocery store.

    “Due to the economy, consumers are shifting their shopping behaviors to get more for their money,” said Dianne Kremer, senior analyst at BIGinsight. “As consumers feel a pinch from rising gas and food prices, they are becoming more creative with how they spend their grocery budgets – shopping closer to home, going to multiple stores to get the best deals and looking online for coupons and offers.”

    Other key findings:

    - Average monthly spend on groceries has steadily increased among the general population from pre- to post-recession from $250.94 in August 2007 to $277 in August 2011. Among moms, it has steadily increased from $311.95 to $341.14 during the same timeframe.
    - Two in five respondents indicate they are purchasing more store brand or generic items now than compared with this time last year; 53.4 percent are purchasing the same amount.
    - Three in 10 respondents have cut back on purchasing bakery items, candy, dessert items and magazines/books/DVDs over the past year. One in four have cut back on prime cuts of meat and seafood.

    “Digital is reshaping the grocery shopping experience in the post-recession economy, as consumers turn to new channels to help plan their shopping trips,” said Gretchen Joyce, MaxPoint Interactive COO. “By understanding what motivates today’s consumer, brands can tailor their shopper marketing strategies to ensure they are gaining mindshare and winning at the shelf-level.”

    MaxPoint Interactive’s retail advertising platform helps to drive in-store traffic for retailers and brands. 

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