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Survey: Amid Inflation, Consumers Changing Deep-Seated Habits

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A new survey suggests consumers are changing long-held retail behaviors amid record high inflation.

Vericast’s 2022 CPG and Grocery Trend Watch – in which nearly 2,000 adults and more than 300 CPG and grocery professionals were surveyed – tells a revealing story about how Americans are currently shopping for products. Rising prices, supply chain delays, and record-high inflation are clearly impacting the CPG and grocery categories.

Customer loyalty, it appears, is as unpredictable as ever.

Vericast found that 61% of shoppers said that one of their biggest challenges is rising prices and almost one-third are regularly switching products because their preferred product isn’t available.

Inflation has resulted in more consumers shopping at discount retailers and grocers and even dollar stores. A Vericast survey also found that 72% of consumers are buying more store or private label brand products to save money,” Aimee Englert, executive director, client strategy at Vericast, told The Food Institute. “The main change in consumer spending patterns is that they’re no longer loyal to brands and instead seek the best value for their stretched dollar.

“More consumers are buying whatever brand is on promotion, which creates an opportunity for brands to introduce and attract new customers through discounts.”

Noteworthy statistics from the report include:

  • 83% of baby boomers said price increases are the biggest challenge when it comes to shopping for food.
  • As over half of all millennial parents struggle to afford essentials, rising gas prices are pushing 63% to shop at fewer stores.
  • 57% of affluent shoppers say the rise in prices is their biggest challenge when shopping for food. To save money, 42% are stockpiling products.
  • While Gen Z seems to be the least anxious about price increases, 53% of that cohort say they’re closely sticking to their shopping list to control costs.


The survey revealed that, in general, baby boomers are the most price-sensitive, with 40% indicating they’re most influenced by coupons that arrive in the mail or newspaper.

That said, more baby boomers are searching for coupons online, as well, suggesting that an omnichannel approach to offering deals could pay dividends, Vericast officials said.


Members of Gen Z are most influenced by social media advertising when considering shopping at a new store or website, or to try a new product. Additionally, 50% use their phones when shopping these days, Vericast revealed.


According to Vericast, 76% of Gen X respondents recently reported they’re buying more store or private label brand products to save money. Also, 67% of Gen Xers are dining out and ordering takeout less.


More than any other generation, millennials are willing to pay extra for the convenience of a subscription service, Vericast noted. However, millennials still rate the in-store experience higher than online (70% versus 63%).

“Grocers can increase the chances of being the retailer of choice by promoting fuel rewards programs and market locations that have fuel pumps as a one-stop destination,” Englert said.