During the past several years, shoppers have become increasingly diligent in planning their holiday celebration related food and beverage purchases. Frugal consumers have embraced coupons, sacrificed gourmet items, and learned to meticulously plan their lists. Saving has become a way a life, and even the approaching holiday season won’t be enough to loosen purse strings.
SymphonyIRI’s Q3 MarketPulse™ study examined consumers’ budgeting and shopping plans for the 2012 holiday season, finding that shoppers are still proceeding very cautiously, planning their purchases and seeking any and all savings avenues. Forty-one percent of consumers feel that their financial position has deteriorated in the past year, and many shoppers intend to rein in their holiday spending. Specifically, 45 percent of consumers plan to spend less this holiday season, with 36 percent planning to spend less on their holiday-related food and beverages.
Consumers across all shopper segments are keeping their belts quite tight, but moms are especially intent on stretching their holiday dollars even further this year than they have in recent history. In fact, 45 percent of moms plan to reduce their holiday celebration-related food and beverage spending this year, compared to 36 percent of the population as a whole, and forty-six percent of moms aim to cut back on unplanned CPG purchases. But, even frugal moms can be swayed: 47 percent plan to take more advantage of in-store promotions, and 44 percent are still buying premium and gourmet items along their route.
Moms aren’t the only ones cutting back—even the wealthiest shoppers are concerned about their financial health and watching their budgets as the holiday season approaches. As a result, 27 percent of wealthy households are taking measures to save money during the holidays, and very few are planning to spend more than they did last year.
Consumers across the board will be shopping strategically this year, employing various tools and tactics to maximize holiday savings. In particular, many customers plan to up their coupon use this year, with MarketPulse data revealing a particular emphasis on online-based coupons:
- 41 percent plan to clip more newspaper and/or circular coupons
- 39 percent plan to download more coupons from manufacturer websites
- 36 percent plan to use more coupons from retailer websites
- 36 percent plan to redeem more coupons received via email
- 32 percent plan to print more coupons from social networking sites
- 31 percent plan to use more coupons from group couponing sites
With so many consumers keeping their wallets clamped shut, this holiday season presents a challenge for CPG manufacturers and retailers. Still, it will offer opportunities for marketers that can deliver against the needs and wants of their key shoppers. Throughout the past year, SymphonyIRI has been examining the many faces of the CPG shopper to understand what it is that drives purchase behavior in difficult economic times. It’s a complex puzzle. When looking at influencers of brand decisions, for instance:
- Gen-Xers are much more heavily influenced by price than boomers and seniors
- Shoppers over the age of 65 rely quite heavily on existing brand equity
- Hispanics are much more heavily influenced by household requests than non-Hispanics
- Millennial shoppers rely quite heavily on online sources of brand and deal information
- Moms are more heavily influenced by shopper loyalty discounts versus the average shopper
To learn more about the many faces of the CPG shopper, click here for our full coverage of consumer segment trends. What strategies will you use to entice shoppers this holiday season?