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    Food Insecurity and Inflation: What Consumers Want From Grocers


    Food insecurity remains a problem, and inflation worries are driving customer sentiment to the lowest levels in 50 years.[0] According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall food prices in America increased 10.4% year-on-year in December, with grocery inflation jumping 11.3% in January from a year earlier.[1] Meanwhile, customer data science company dunnhumby recently found that Americans believe that grocers are earning a 35.2% net profit margin, 14 times higher than their actual net profit margin average of 2.5%.[2]

    Further, dunnhumby’s Consumer Trends Tracker report for the third quarter of 2020 found that 31% of households said that they’ve skipped or reduced meals for financial reasons, while 39% of respondents younger than 44 have skipped or reduced meals.[3] Households with children at home are 8% more likely to do so than adult-only households.[0]

    Short-term optimism is the highest among younger shoppers.[0] For 2023, 31% of consumers aged 18-34 believe that their finances and the state of the country will get better, compared to just 13% of consumers over 65.[4] For both 3-year and 5-year periods, age did not make a significant difference.[4]

    eCommerce solutions that are easy to navigate and more accessible are desired by consumers.[5] Eighty-one percent (up 4%) of consumers say easy-to-shop websites and apps are important to them, and 78% (up 4%) want retailers to have more convenient delivery and pick-up time slots. Ease and convenience are particularly important for consumers aged 55 and over.[5] In this age group, 84% say easy-to-shop websites and apps are important to them and 81% want convenient delivery and pick-up time slots available.

    Retailers are expected to assist consumers in selecting healthy options. 3% more consumers than before noted that it was very or extremely important for retailers to help them make healthy choices, with 44% of them reporting as such.[4] 48% of respondents said they select healthy foods when shopping, an increase of 2% from the previous survey. Furthermore, 40% indicated they read diet and nutrition information, a 2% rise from before, and 29% reported they purchase items for a particular diet while shopping.[6]

    0. “Americans Believe Inflation is Worse Than Reality | News” Specialty Food Association, 15 Feb. 2023,

    1. “Relentless inflation and surging grocery prices have these Americans on edge” Fox Business, 13 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Study: Shoppers think grocery stores are raking in cartfuls of cash” Winsight Grocery Business, 15 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Report: Consumers Believe Grocers' Profits, Inflation Much Higher Than Reality” Store Brands Magazine, 15 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Your net profit margin? Consumers think it's way higher than it is.” Supermarket News, 15 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Americans Think Grocers' Profits Are 14X Higher, Inflation Twice as High as in Reality” Progressive Grocer, 15 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Trendspotting: Inflation worries are driving customer sentiment | Produce News” The Produce News, 16 Feb. 2023,

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