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Survey Says: Frugality is Here for the Long Haul


Susan ViamariSusan Viamari

Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2011

With the country still feeling the aftershocks of the recession, many consumers today have held on to their frugal practices.  In fact, in our newly released Times & Trends Special Report: The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a Wild and Crazy Ride,” we detail how many of these shoppers have embraced money-saving strategies with new fervor.  Additionally, they continue to hone household and grocery rituals in ways that help them manage expenses.

This Times & Trends Special Report, based on results from our third quarter MarketPulse survey, finds that consumers continue to trim back eating out behaviors and instead are cooking simple meals at home.  The survey also reaffirms that the Internet is a popular resource for consumers seeking the best deals.  With nearly one in four consumers finding it difficult to afford weekly groceries, clicking for savings is just one of the tools consumers are using to carefully plan their CPG excursions before entering the retail marketplace.

A summary of additional insights and retailer/manufacturer recommendations to address today’s conservative shopping mindset can be found in the press release on this report.

More details regarding this report are included in a recording of our Times & Trends Webinar.  Topics discussed include, “How can CPG and retail marketers adjust their strategies to appeal to today’s very conservative and risk-averse ‘Downturn Shoppers’ in order to improve sales, share and loyalty?

Please click here to watch the recording and download a PDF of the presentation.

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3 Responses for "Survey Says: Frugality is Here for the Long Haul"

  1. Betty Gonzalez November 18th, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    This post and the report totally resonate with me, especially after doing my Thanksgiving shopping. I’ve been on the “roller coaster” for two years, I’m getting used to the ups and downs!

    Clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, printing them online is a weekly habit. I get excited when I find a great deal (going DOWN on the roller coaster, WHEE)!

    Going through store flyers hoping to get a double discount and planning where to shop plus seaching for the exact items on the store shelves is like going UP on the roller coaster because it takes so long!

    But, when I’m done, the ride was worth it, because I saved money, and that’s a good feeling.

  2. Donna Sutton November 22nd, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    I think a lot of people have probably felt this roller-coaster ride a lot more than I realized. However, in recent months, I’ve begun feeling it and I wondered why. One obvious reason was an increase in my living expenses due to a move – but that didn’t seem like enough of a reason for my “roller-coaster” to have gotten so much wilder.

    But recently as I have shopped, I was really jolted by prices. $7.99 for hand/body lotion. Really? Really??? When did that happen? Where have I been? That was the LOW end of the price spectrum!! They went up to almost $18! For hand lotion!!! Wow.

    As I was reading this article, you did hit on what it seems no one is (yet) talking about. Inflation. That is what I believe is happening – what is really hurting people. Per your article, “Perceptions around impending inflation are weighing heavily on the minds of consumers today. Nearly three-quarters of consumers, for instance, expect the cost of food to increase in the coming year.” The prices of food and goods are just mind-boggling and I think inflation is HERE and is going to get much worse.

    For the first time in about 6 years, I’m hosting Thanksgiving. Wow – what was I thinking?! I needed to take out a small loan!! All I know now is that when Christmas dinner rolls around, we’ll be doing pot-luck and everyone is bringing a dish because I have no funds left!!!

  3. Mark Eastwood January 6th, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    The financial sector has been talking about a “new normal” since 2008 when things started to fall apart. The economy was overbuilt and over levereged and we’ve had to pull back. The frederal government is overborrowed just like consumers. If a consumer isn’t manking more money, the only way they can pay down debt or avoid incurring new debt is to spend less.

    Therefore it should be no surprise that shoppers are generally spending less and will do so for years to come. Oh, they will eventually “forget” but that’s some years in the future. I remember in the 80s my grandmother, who lived through the Great Dipression, reused and recycled everything — and it wasn’t even in vogue! She washed and flattened and folded and stored away foil to be used a second or third time before it was discarded.

    The world (for now) is moving back towards a more pay as you go, limited credit lifestyle and that means a pull-back in spending of all types. Oh, people that can spend will spend, but those that shouldn’t have been spending so much in the first place no lnger have a choice.