Stabilizing inflation offers a grocery marketing opportunity as shoppers prepare for the holiday season. The latest Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that as overall inflation edged up 0.4% in September, food-at-home prices increased slightly by 0.1% after minimal increases of 0.3% in July and 0.2% in August.
This is good news for consumers, who can expect a more predictable, consistent shopping experience. Despite this inflation mitigation, nearly 60% of consumers continue to seek ways to save money—13% more than in 2022.
Nationwide, from rural to suburban and urban markets, 82% of consumers expect to spend the same or more on groceries over the next 90 days.
Consumers continue to change their behavior in a number of ways as prices increase, including buying more store brand products, shopping sales more often, and using more coupons.
Consumer Response to Price Increases
Price remains the No. 1 reason for choosing a grocery store for 70% of consumers, creating ongoing pressure for retailers to emphasize value in their grocery marketing.
Reasons for Choosing a Grocery Store
In 2023, 44 percent of consumers are planning to buy more private brands, nearly double last year’s percentage. Even if market conditions improve, consumers might continue buying private brands: 83 percent of consumers believe the quality of private-brand goods is equal or superior to that of branded products.
In its 2023 Power of Private Brands series, FMI – The Food Industry Association, found that 96% of grocery shoppers purchase store brands at least occasionally and 46% purchase private brands most or all of the time.
Grocery marketing that targets shoppers with value-focused messaging and offers while leveraging the most influential media is key to drive traffic and increases sales.
Top Media Influences on Grocery Purchases
Direct mail drives response, both online and in person. 64% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to “take action.”
- 57% have visited a brand website after receiving direct mail.
- More than one-third have visited a retail location or purchased a product or service.
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Sources: Grocery Inflation Moderating, But Still Ticking Up | Progressive Grocer; Prosper Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Survey 2023; The state of grocery in North America 2023 | McKinsey; Shoppers Buying Private Brands for More Than Just Price | Progressive Grocer; The State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights by LOB and Comperemedia 2023