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Mintel: Consumers Spend Smarter, Not Less

July 31, 2013
by candyandsnacktoday

Chicago — Rather than spending less, consumers are finding ways to get more value for their dollar, according to a new Mintel Group, Ltd. survey.

Of the 13 key consumer markets in the U.S., respondents claim they are only spending more on in-home food and household care; however, Mintel finds spending has increased across all categories.

Mintel Analyst Fiona O'Donnell says: “In many categories, consumers have been conditioned by a nearly never-ending cycle of sales, coupon offers, members-only discounts, lower-priced product alternatives, etc., to avoid ever having to pay full price. Meanwhile, technology has made price comparisons and strategic shopping more accessible. For these reasons, marketers should not expect a swing back to pre-recession impulse buying habits and spending on credit.”

Throughout the past five years, two-thirds of consumers say they spend money more cautiously and 40 percent say they cut costs by entertaining through free activities and saving and investing money. Similarly, more than half of consumers say they have been paying more attention to product prices, buyng items only if there is a need, using coupons and wait for discounts to make larger purchases.

“While conservative spending may be a result of lingering concerns over the health of the economy and a fear of debt, it is also likely consumers’ attitudes have shifted,” O'Donnell adds. “That is, rather than having pride in purchases and all things 'new,' consumers now appear to take pride in their ability to cut costs, find deals and pay lower prices than retail.”

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