Grocery Marketing: Engage Consumers as Shopping Habits Change in Response to Rising Prices

Learn how to create a grocery marketing strategy that engages consumers as shopping habits and store preferences change in response to inflation and rising prices. 


Changes in consumer shopping habits in response to inflation and rising prices threaten consumer loyalty like never before.

  • Over half (56%) of U.S. food shoppers said they have switched from branded products to store-brand items to cut back on grocery spending.
  • 43% of shoppers have even switched supermarkets.
  • Omnichannel shoppers spend 1.5x more on groceries than in-store-only shoppers but spread their dollars at up to twice as many retailers, according to the Consumer Trends Tracker report released by dunnhumby in June.

The consumer price index (CPI) for food saw the largest 12-month increase since April 1979. To help alleviate crushing inflation, shoppers are relying on promotions and discounts, according to Retail Insight’s consumer survey.

  • 65% of consumers polled said they are reducing their food spending to lower their cost of living.
  • 65% are also now actively looking for promotions and discounts when shopping for groceries.
  • Almost 70% reported being much more likely to compare prices at the shelf.

Multi-channel campaigns anchored by direct mail increase response and ROI

A multi-channel approach is proven to increase response and drive results by creating multiple touch points with consumers as they look for deals and compare prices to plan their grocery shopping.

50.0% of US adults shop at a grocery store or supermarket at least twice a week. In the past 12 months, these supermarket customers have responded to ads across a variety of channels:

  • Ads/coupons in the mail, 54%
  • Streaming TV ad, 49%
  • Internet banner ad, 46%
  • Pre-roll video ad, 45%
  • Newspaper ad, 41%

Purchase intent increases 175% when direct mail anchors digital campaigns

A coordinated marketing plan utilizing direct mail, digital, and triggered advertising tactics enables you to promote awareness of your grocery store and highlight your services and products while targeting your best potential customers. This powerful combination is also proven to boost response rates up to 118% and conversion rates up to 28% versus print alone.

Replace lost newspaper coverage with direct mail that drives results

Replace newspaper coverage that has been eliminated from key markets with direct mail and complementary digital campaigns. Gannett dropped newspaper/total market coverage (TMC) publications in 100+ markets during the first six months of 2022, bringing the total to nearly 300 discontinued since 2019.

As circulation decreases, the influence of newspapers continues to shrink compared to other forms of media. Coupons, internet ads, advertising inserts, and direct mail out-perform newspaper advertising by a significant margin for grocery purchases.

Mspark is uniquely qualified to respond to newspapers’ exit from your target markets. Our monthly direct mail delivery is driven by our rural audience and enables you to place your coupons and offers directly in the mailbox of your target audience.

  • We help you identify consumers in eliminated newspaper coverage areas.
  • We target those consumers down to the household level with direct mail campaigns and complementary digital campaigns that drive them to your stores or website to make a purchase.
  • These targeted multi-channel campaigns also increase new customer traffic from areas that were never included in newspaper coverage.

Learn more about newspaper replacement strategies in our blog post. 

Reach new grocery shoppers in your markets ahead of your competitors with triggered campaigns

Target movers as they enter your markets and make decisions about purchasing groceries and other household essentials. Movers are 5x more likely to become long-term customers. Reaching them quickly—ahead of your competitors—as they are planning their purchases is key. Mspark’s trigger-based direct mail program enables you to reach new mover mailboxes within as little as 2-3 days.

Our mover data offers up to 15% more mover records than competitors.

– We enable you to reach homes as much as 6 days sooner than competitors– giving you almost a full week’s head start over your competition.

– 18+ data sources and sophisticated data processing with daily updates ensure virtually 100% accuracy.

Below is an example of how we can identify and target new movers within your markets and estimate the potential return on ad spend.

Read our grocery case studies to see how other supermarkets have benefitted from our solutions, and be sure to download our Grocery Marketing eBook. Reach out today to plan your strategy!

Sources: Price-conscious consumers hunger for lower food tab,, June 3, 2022; Online grocery shoppers spend more but less loyal,, June 30, 2022; Food Inflation Coming in Hot: Labor Dept. Data,, June 10, 2022; Trends and Facts on Newspapers | State of the News Media | Pew Research Center; Prosper Insights & Analytics; AdMall AudienceSCAN 2021; Millward Brown Print Campaign Analysis; Simplifi; 2021 Competitive Data Analysis

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