Frugal Shopper

Deloitte: Consumers Counter Inflation With Frugality

Feb. 23, 2023
A new global study from Deloitte found this frugality manifesting itself in several ways.

The number of consumers making trade-offs at the grocery store and economizing to shield themselves from rising food prices is rising. A large, new global study from Deloitte, just released today (Feb. 23), found this frugality manifesting itself in several ways:

  • Shoppers are mindful of what they already have. 42% of consumers globally cited shopping based on food they already had at home, underscoring potential impacts to other behaviors such as being less likely to try new products or influenced by promotions.
  • Consumers are buying less than they wanted, and sticking to essentials. 21% say they purchased less than they wanted on a grocery trip in an effort to economize. This behavior goes beyond mere food frugality and hints at the presence of food insecurity as inflation forces some consumers to do without. Further, one-third say they are only buying essentials.
  • Some focus more on what they buy, instead of how much. Many consumers are opting to trade usual purchases for something less expensive. 31% cite switching to cheaper cuts of meat or different sources of protein; 29% say they generally choose cheaper ingredients such as dried rice and beans over pricier produce.
  • Name brands may not make the cut. 30% say they have made the switch from a popular name brand to a less expensive store brand. While this poses a risk for national CPG brands, retailers may have an opportunity as research suggests once consumers switch to private or store-labeled goods, they tend to stick with them.

The questions behind the Food Frugality Index were introduced in September of 2022 and asked monthly through January 2023 to 1,000 consumers in each of 23 countries (so 23,000 consumers were surveyed each month). It’s part of Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker.

The report is available here.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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