Consumers Pinching Grocery Pennies

May 03, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Given the choice of buying groceries in a traditional supermarket or a discount store, more consumers are opting for the savings at supercenters, warehouse clubs, limited assortment
grocery stores, etc.

Given the option of filling up their gas tank to get to work, school, etc. or spending the money on food, more consumers are choosing petrol over produce.

The Food Marketing Institute’s latest report, Trends in the United States: Consumer Attitudes & the Supermarket, 2004, says these issues are a continuation of developments
previously identified.

“Clearly the same issues that plagued consumers in 2002 — unemployment, problems with business ethics, ongoing concerns about terrorism, war with Iraq and rising fuel costs
— continued to give them pause in 2003 and going into 2004,” said the report.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think is the average consumer’s attitude about shopping in supermarkets? What challenges/opportunities
does this represent for supermarkets and competitors in other channels?

FMI’s research also confirmed the one thing we consumers may value more than saving money is saving time. Sales of more expensive precooked foods and other
items for immediate consumption continue to grow. According to a Reuters report, supermarkets are now “substantially ahead of full-service restaurants as the primary source for
take-out meals.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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