Inflation is weighing heavy on consumers’ minds, and rarely are they as aware of rising prices than when browsing the aisles at their local grocery store.
For the PYMNTS study The New Reality Check, created in collaboration with LendingClub, we surveyed a census-balanced panel of nearly 3,500 U.S. consumers in August to explore how inflation has affected them. What we found suggests that they feel price increases especially acutely when buying food.
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The study found that 69% of consumers have found product price increases for groceries to be very or extremely considerable, and another 20% found these increases somewhat considerable. That leaves only 11% reporting that they found grocery stores’ price increases slightly or not at all considerable.
Similarly, the vast majority of consumers have observed price increases at their favorite restaurants, though not quite as much as when it comes to food-at-home alternatives. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed reported noticing very or extremely considerable price increases for food from restaurants, and another 31% noticed somewhat considerable increases.
The only product category in which consumers felt increases more acutely than in grocery items was fuel. Respondents noticed prices of food across restaurants and grocery stores increasing more acutely than those of electronics, auto parts, household furnishings and most other goods.
These findings are especially noteworthy given that food is an everyday need, so consumers worried about their finances cannot wait out these increases or opt-out of purchasing these items. Instead, all they can do is be more conservative in their spending if possible and hope that inflation normalizes in the near future.
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