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Clearly, the biggest impact on consumer lifestyles these days continues to be the stressed economy. Consumers’ approach to buying food is shifting as they try to save money on grocery and restaurant purchases. At the same time, some are switching to more healthful foods in hopes of saving on health care costs. Consumer shopping trends with the most impact in the next five years will be the demand for low prices, health and well-being, convenience, sustainability, and food safety and quality, according to “What’s in Store 2010,” the trends report from the Madison, Wis.-based International Dairy•Deli•Bakery Association (IDDBA).
World Consumption Slowing
The current economic recession has created a domestic and global realignment unlike any we’ve seen in many decades. World consumption is slowing — especially in developed countries — due to a shift from consumption to savings. To differentiate products, the focus will be on real value, not perceived value.
Consumer Buying Power
U.S. buying power is estimated at $10.7 trillion for 2008 and projected to rise to $14 trillion for 2013. The approximately 76 million baby boomers have an estimated buying power of over $2 trillion. But with the economic downturn, we’re seeing a shift from a “trade-up” culture to a “trade-off” culture.
Changes in Shopper Behavior
Key food shopper behaviors in the new economy include advance preparation to determine best value, comparing unit prices, limiting purchases of premium products and moving to store brands for a better price. Surveys across the board show that consumers are eating more at home.
Health and Wellness Still a Concern
If current trends continue, 86 percent of the adult American population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Childhood obesity rates are expected to hit 40 percent by 2012. In Europe today, it’s 35 percent. But many consumers are heeding medical advice and paying closer attention to their diets. Health and wellness will be a significant driver of consumer behavior for the next decade. The most sought after package health claims are whole grains, high fiber, low fat, low sodium, absence of trans fats, and low sugar. Consumers also want products with antioxidants, dietary fiber, omega-3 and probiotics.
“What’s in Store 2010” details consumer and industry trends affecting the dairy case, cheese case, bakery, deli and foodservice supermarket departments. Its 165 tables, developed in cooperation with leading industry firms and associations, include department sales, per capita consumption, consumer preferences, and random-weight, UPC, and private label sales data. The full report is available from IDDBA. The cost is $99 for IDDBA members and $399 for nonmembers, plus shipping and handling. Purchasers of the report also gain online access to quarterly random-weight sales data throughout the year. For more information or to order, call the IDDBA Education Department at 608-310-5000 or visit www.iddba.org.