American Pantry Survey finds savvy shoppers expect discounted prices

Excitement over unexpected in-store deals has diminished as discounted prices become an anticipated part of the consumer products shopping experience, according to the Deloitte/Harrison Group annual American Pantry Survey of 4,086 household shoppers and food preparers in the U.S., and conducted by Deloitte and Harrison Group from Oct. 6 to Oct. 21, 2011.
For nearly one-third (30 percent) of consumers, at least seven of 10 items in their shopping cart is discounted.  Additionally, 80 percent say they do their own research and have a pre-determined price point and a potential savings amount in mind before they step into a store. In fact, two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers shop when they know products will be on sale.

"Shoppers today expect to get a deal on the products they purchase," says Pat Conroy, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader. "With this mindset it is critical that consumer products companies take measures to enhance brand loyalty by connecting early and often with key audiences in environments outside of the store."

Smarter, Efficient Shoppers Focus on Consumer Product Purchases
Three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents assert that that they are smarter shoppers than they were a year ago, and 86 percent believe they are getting more precise in what they buy. Additionally, 80 percent say they have become more efficient at getting in and out of the store in 2011.

"Smarter shoppers know what they want, and how to get it for the best price," explains Conroy. "As they become more efficient - while the consumer products industry increasingly faces a 'crisis of similar' - companies looking to thrive must find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition."

Shoppers Know What They're Buying Before Entering the Store
Nine in 10 shoppers know what they're buying before they arrive at a store, and 83 percent have a set of brands in mind.. Moreover, 80 percent indicate that the recession has caused them to realize what brands they care about and which ones they don't.

"Companies should have a conversation with shoppers prior to the time of purchase," says Conroy. "With the proliferation of online shopping, smartphones and social networking, it's vital that consumer product companies consider the use of highly targeted pre-store shopper engagement programs, which could include constant communication through new technology mediums."

Private Label and Store Brands Increasingly "Been There, Done That"  Nearly one-half (49 percent) of shoppers say they are no longer interested in trying private labels or store brands. Furthermore, 90 percent assert that they have already figured out which store brands and private labels work for their families - and which ones do not - while nearly the same amount (88 percent) of consumers claim they have established which store brands and private labels are good, and which ones are not.