90% of grocery shoppers notice higher prices

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Oh, they notice it: around 90% of buyers surveyed by a market researcher IRI last month, they said they saw prices increase at the grocery store, and nearly half of shoppers (48%) said prices were much higher lately.

Moreover, the vast majority of those who see food prices rising are worried about the upward trajectory. Just over half of consumers who observed higher grocery prices said they were somewhat concerned about inflationary conditions, while 42% said they were extremely concerned, IRI reported Thursday and 210 Analytics, based on data from the November IRI Buyer Survey.

See also: At 6.8%, November inflation surpasses October highs

Meat, dairy and dairy products dominated the grocery store categories where shoppers said they noticed the higher prices the most. And as some industry watchers have predicted, there are signs that these price increases are starting to affect consumer behavior: 61% of buyers in the IRI survey said they changed their selections from ” grocery shopping in response to higher prices, with seeking out offers (including in-place storage), cutting back on non-essentials and switching to store-branded products leading shoppers’ cost control measures .

Stock-outs add to frustrations at the grocery store, which more than a third of consumers said they experienced on their last grocery trip. Toiled paper, canned goods, sodas, paper towels and milk topped the list of items that shoppers said they were having trouble finding.

Of those who couldn’t find what they were looking for, 39% said they took their money elsewhere to get what they wanted. A smaller proportion, 28%, opted for a different brand or variety of the item they were looking for, and about the same proportion (29%) completely ignored the purchase. One in 10 went online to purchase the item at another store.

The data “[underscores] the significant impact of stockouts on sales, ”wrote Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics, in the investigation report.

A notable change—At least, among those with a little flexibility in ingredients — is a growing willingness to switch item formats in the face of a shortage, according to Joe Watson of the Product Marketing Association (soon the International Fresh Produce Association), which collaborated on the report. “Supply chain challenges continue to affect the prices and availability of fresh produce, ”said Watson, PMA’s vice president of membership and engagement.Fresh produce is certainly not the only one in this case, but buyers are also smoother than I’ve ever seen before switching between fresh, frozen and shelf stable, which means inflation and promotional levels. in these other areas can affect the purchase of fresh produce more than ever. . “

For food and beverage store-wide, dollar sales are up 1.3% for the first 11 months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 and up 15.6% on a stack of two years. Unit sales, however, were down 3.5% through November compared to the period a year earlier, according to IRI.

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