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Consumers Hunker Down, Despite Rebounding Economy

April 17, 2013
by candyandsnacktoday

New York, NY — As the economy improves, 94 percent of Americans will remain cautious and stick to their recession-minded spending habits, according to Deloitte Development, LLC’s American Pantry Study survey.

Throughout the last three years more than 90 percent of consumers have become more resourceful and 86 percent are more precise in what they purchase.

“One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession. Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands’ position. The gap between the few 'must have' brands on shoppers' lists and others on the shelf may be widening, making it more important for brands to differentiate through innovation, quality and performance. Consumer product companies may also consolidate low and mid-level performers and shift investment to the category leaders.”

Brand loyalty slid for the third consecutive year, with nearly 90 percent of the 4,047 respondents saying they have found store brands they like just as much as national brands and only 27 percent planning to switch back to national brands once the economy rebounds. When asked why certain brands are no longer a priority for them, consumers said others were available on sale.

However, the brands to which consumers are most loyal outperformed their counterparts on trust, experience, performance and other qualities by more than 20 percentage points. More than 80 percent say they have a specific set of brands in mind when they shop and will purchase the ones that are on sale.

The survey also showed loyalty card usage is has increased as the number of consumers with three or more grocery loyalty cards has grown from 28 percent to 39 percent since 2010 and 58 percent of shoppers use shopper loyalty cards in grocery stores every time they shop.

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