More Than Half of Consumers Skip the Snack Food Aisle to Lower Grocery Bills

grocery prices

As food prices continue to rise, consumers are doing everything in their power to save where they can, challenging grocers to find new ways to retain their loyalty.

By the Numbers

For the latest edition of PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment series, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” we surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers in April about their experiences and perceptions in shopping. The study revealed that 57% of consumers reported having cut down on nonessential grocery spending.

Consumer cutbacks

These purchasing decisions come as grocery price inflation continues to outpace the all-item rate (although it has fallen below its double-digit peak). The latest data on record from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) showed that, in March, food at home prices rose 8.4% year over year overall, well above the all-item inflation rate of 5%.

The Data in Context

Grocers and other businesses that rely on grocery sales are taking note of inflation’s effect on food spending, looking for ways to ease consumers’ price anxieties and in turn maintain shopper frequency.

Take, for instance, the United States’ leading grocer, Kroger.

“As customers look for more ways to save, digital coupon engagement hit an all-time high during the year,” CEO Rodney McMullen told analysts on the company’s most recent earnings call. “Our combined paper and digital coupons helped save our customers more than $1.4 billion on products they need and want. That’s on top of our everyday promotions and all the other value we offer.”

Plus, last month, leading grocery aggregator Instacart announced that it was adding more discounting and price-centric features. These include a “Stores to Help You Save” section to help consumers find lower-priced retailers, the ability to apply merchants’ loyalty programs via shoppers’ Instacart accounts, targeted sale offers based on previous purchases, discounts for larger purchases and more.

“We know rising grocery prices won’t go away overnight — so we will continue to introduce new ways to save in the Instacart app over the coming months,” the aggregator stated in a blog post announcing the offers.