Consumers turn to mass, club as they seek lower grocery prices amid rising inflation

With inflation driving up the price of all foods and beverages a staggering 28.8% in October 2022 vs October 2019, 80% of consumers reported shopping for groceries differently, according to the data published earlier this month.

While the most popular money-saving measures include looking for sales and deals more often, a strategy employed by 55% of consumers, cutting back on non-essentials (45%), looking for coupons (35%) and buying store brand items (31%), consumers are also changing where they shop for food to save money.

According to the IRI data, 15% of consumers report visiting lower-cost retailers, while 18% report visiting multiple stores for “the best deals” – a strategy that drove up the number of store trips 2% in October over the same time last year.

As a result, mass and supercenters saw their share of food and beverage dollars climb to 22.1%, while the club channel reached a high of 12.1% in October. These gains came at the cost of market share for traditional and health grocery stores, which both saw share drop to their lowest levels since the pandemic began at 36% and 2%, respectively, according to IRI’s Integrated Fresh Household Panel.

Shoppers pull back on volume in face of price hikes

While consumers have fared better-than-expected over the past year thanks in part to stimulus money doled out by the government early in the pandemic, which allowed some shoppers to build their savings and absorb higher prices without cutting back on the amount of products in their carts, inflation is starting to take a more significant toll.

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