Survey: Food shoppers look for value amid rising prices, shrinking package sizes
NEW YORK — Rising food prices and shrinking package sizes are a top concern for consumers, according to Deloitte’s "2011 Consumer Food and Product Insight Survey."
Nearly 9-in-10 survey respondents (87.7%) believed prices in food stores are escalating, and almost three-quarters (74%) said the size of some packaged goods is smaller. Consequently, savvy consumers are purchasing more private-label and store-brand products, the survey found. More than three-quarters of respondents (75.3%) purchased lower-priced products, and nearly 2-in-5 respondents (39.6%) added more private-label products to their grocery bags.
Gas prices continue to take their toll on consumer behavior, as nearly 3-in-4 respondents (72.7%) are making fewer trips to the grocery store to save money, and more than two-fifths (40.8%) are purchasing fewer items overall.
"Higher prices, smaller package sizes and pain at the pump are driving consumers to buy lower-priced grocery items," said Pat Conroy, Deloitte vice chairman and the U.S. consumer products practice leader. "That’s why now, more than ever, it is important for consumer products companies to strengthen their customer relationships and distinguish value ahead of the competition."
Though consumers may be looking for the lowest-priced items when they shop for food, nutrition still matters. According to the Deloitte survey, more than 3-in-4 respondents (76.2%) said they more often want healthier food options when they shop, and nearly two-thirds (64.8%) agreed or somewhat agreed that food retailers are starting to sell more locally produced fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, nearly one-half of respondents (49.3%) agreed that packaging that displays a row of standardized icons called "nutrition keys" on the front of the package with standard ingredients listed on the back would be very helpful for purchasing decisions. The survey also found that more than half (51.1%) of food shoppers read the ingredients on unfamiliar food items.
When it comes to researching product information, shoppers are relying more on mobile devices, the survey found. More than one-third (34%) of smartphone users research food prices or product information while in a store, and more than two-fifths (43%) of smartphone users have managed a food shopping list on their device while not in a store.
Overall, more than one-half (53%) of shoppers surveyed are increasingly using technology to obtain information about food products, and more than one-quarter (28%) of respondents interacted with a food retailer via the retailer’s mobile application or website. Furthermore, more than one-fifth (23.5%) of survey respondents expected their smartphone-related grocery shopping activity to increase next year.
Traditional supermarkets remain the top choice for food shoppers, with 79.7% of those surveyed choosing to shop there. Large supercenters came in second, with 61% of respondents saying they shop there for food.
Outside of shopping at supermarkets and one-stop-shop supercenters, nearly one-third of consumers (32.6%) met their grocery needs by visiting a dollar store over the past year. The survey also found that more than 2-in-5 respondents (22%) bought food at a drug store, and slightly less than 1-in-20 shoppers (4.9%) visited an online retailer or food manufacturer to purchase food.
Reading, writing, value: Kmart heads back to school
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is putting an emphasis on value in its latest back-to-school campaign.
The retailer’s "Epic Year, Epic You!" campaign seeks to meet customers’ evolving BTS needs. In addition to underscoring its convenient buying options — including the buy online, pick up in store option and in-store layaway program — Kmart is offering college students and their parents the ability to reserve purchases by making four payments throughout the summer and allowing students to pick up items at a Kmart store near their campus.
Additionally, Kmart also noted that its customers have the ability to earn points when they shop via the Shop Your Way Rewards loyalty program.
As part of its BTS campaign, Kmart also is looking to reach the multicultural market through its recently launched Latina Smart platform, which operates as a way to reach the online-savvy Hispanic female blogger community, Kmart said.
"We’re thrilled to be launching our ‘Epic Year, Epic You!’ campaign, especially as shoppers are looking for better back-to-school deals even earlier in the year so they can enjoy the rest of their summer," Kmart chief marketing officer Mark Snyder said. "This back-to-school campaign and respective offers are a reflection on our focus to ensure our customers have an amazing variety of quality products that are truly affordable."
For more information on Kmart throughout the back-to-school season, visit KmartEPK.com.
A&P introduces Live Better Baby Club
MONTVALE, N.J. — Grocer A&P announced on Monday the launch of a new program, Live Better Baby Club, which is designed to help customers save on their baby-related purchases.
Members of the Live Better Baby Club will receive an automatic 10% discount on baby products every time they shop at A&P, Pathmark, Superfresh, Waldbaum’s and The Food Emporium stores.
To become a member, customers can enroll online at LiveBetterBaby.net, sign up in-store or add the program to their existing A&P banner membership account via the Web. Members who also are part of A&P’s Live Better Wellness Club can receive free generic prenatal vitamins, fluoride baby vitamins and antibiotics in stores with pharmacies.
Parents also can find tips and members-only specials on the club’s new website. Utilizing the knowledge of A&P’s vendor partners, the site offers information and resources for parents on rotating topics, as well as exclusive deals and additional discounts for members. The site also features a regular mommy and baby nutrition blog, and encourages parents and shoppers to "ask the experts" and interactively engage with the site.
A&P also has expanded its Coupon Source digital program to include exclusive Live Better Baby Club offers. Members can download these offers directly to their savings card for even more savings when they shop.