Exploring the Impact of Food Inflation on Consumers
The effects of food inflation are being felt by consumers across the country, as the cost of grocery staples continues to rise due to a combination of factors including supply-chain snags, the avian flu epidemic, climate issues, and the war in Ukraine. The impacts of food inflation vary significantly along economic lines, with Oregon, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and West Virginia having the highest rates of financial insecurity, and Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Delaware having the lowest.
Consumer habits have changed significantly in the wake of food inflation, with shoppers increasingly looking for easy-to-shop and more convenient e-commerce solutions. Eighty-one percent (up 4%) of consumers said that easy-to-shop websites and apps are important to them and 78% (up 4%) said they want retailers to offer more convenient delivery and pickup time slots. When it comes to shopping, families are 16% more likely to utilize a store's app and have a 10% greater demand for retailers to select products in the same way they would, as opposed to shoppers without children.
Food inflation has had a significant impact on consumer sentiment, with 81% of survey respondents listing inflation as the top reason for the current low sentiment. Only 22% of respondents predicted that inflation and the state of the country will get better in 2023, compared to 47% predicting improvement three years from now and 54% predicting improvement over a five-year period.
Overall, food inflation is having a major effect on the average consumer’s finances. Retailers need to show empathy for customers through their prices, their rewards/loyalty offers, and with messaging to best support shoppers during these challenging financial times.
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2. “Americans Think Grocers' Profits Are 14X Higher, Inflation Twice as High as in Reality” Progressive Grocer, 15 Feb. 2023, https://progressivegrocer.com/americans-think-grocers-profits-are-14x-higher-inflation-twice-high-reality
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