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great american pantry study

Recession Changes Shopping, Brand Perception

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The ongoing economic recession has changed how consumers shop for and perceive food and CPG brands, according to a new study from Deloitte.

Caution will Outlast Recession

Statistics from the “2010 Great American Pantry Study” indicate that even when the current recession finally ends, US consumers plan to maintain the more cautious and bargain-oriented shopping habits they have developed during the past few years.

For example, 93% of consumers expect to continue spending cautiously even when the economy improves, and 92% have made some kind of change in their food and CPG-related shopping habits. Another 89% feel they have become more resourceful because of the economy, while 84% have become a lot more precise in what they buy.

Some key findings include;

Loyalty Cards, Coupons Gain Favour
In response to the recession, consumers are increasingly using loyalty cards and coupons, to save money. Eighty-one percent of consumers say it’s fun to see how much they can save using a loyalty card or coupon, while 65% say loyalty cards are an “essential/very important” money saving method.

Store Brands Gain Acceptance
Other results of the study show store brands gaining clear acceptance from a large majority of consumers. For example, 80% of consumers believe most store brands are manufactured by traditional national brands, and 74% are more open to trying private labelled store brands than they were two years ago.

Though not necessarily reflective of all industries and markets, Enform believes that there are strong potential indicatives here for all brands and brand managers. For example, there is a clear consumer mandate for the importance of loyalty programs in not just delivering savings but also providing a “game” to encourage regular buying and loyalty.

This would be relevant both at retail and distributor levels suggesting tighter brand engagement might deliver higher sales. The other finding could be seen as a double-edged sword as “home-brand” options become more attractive and credible however this also presents opportunities to separate national brand values from “home-brand” commodity perception.