Inflation is hitting Americans hard and is causing most to cut back everyday items. A recent survey from Attest proves that food and beverages are not immune to necessary cutbacks.
Dr. Lin Carson, CEO of Bakerpedia, told The Food Institute that 53% of U.S. adults have changed their eating and drinking habits due to inflation.
“With the Consumer Price Index increase at 9.1% in the past year – the largest increase in 40 years – there’s no surprise that we’re seeing this cut back on spending,” Carson said. “Therefore, what will be hit first effectively would be higher-priced organic and luxury, or indulgent, foods.”
Although food is a necessity, of course, consumers are finding ways to save, including switching to cheaper brands, cutting out or cutting back on certain indulgences such as alcohol and fast food and even eating less, according to the survey.
Here’s a look at where Americans are cutting food costs:
- Alcohol: According to Attest, close to 50% of survey respondents say they’re buying less alcohol than they did in the past, with a little over 21% cutting out consumption altogether.
- Beverages: Switching to a cheaper brand is one of the easiest ways to save money in this economy. According to Attest, 33.6% of consumers have switched to a cheaper beverage brand.
- Snack Foods: Indulgences like snack foods can add up quickly. Almost 50% of Americans are switching to cheaper snack brands, and 43% are snacking less in general these days.
- Fast Food: Over half of respondents, (53%) are consuming less fast food nowadays, according to the aforementioned survey. And, when consumers are purchasing fast food, they’re trying to eat smaller portions.
Nobody is safe from inflation. All age groups are cutting back, according to the survey.
What’s noteworthy is that each age group has its own unique way of saving. Millennials are most likely to have switched to a cheaper brand of alcohol, Gen Z tops the survey with regard to switching non-alcoholic beverage brands, and Baby Boomers are snacking less frequently.
Some brands appear to be nearly inflation proof, due to the loyalty of their customer base. For example, Budweiser, Lays, Doritos, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Hershey’s have all maintained relatively loyal followings recently despite consumers cutting food costs, according to Attest.
What can be learned from the survey? According to Attest, social media campaigns and in-store promotions can help draw shoppers in and get them to try or keep buying a certain brand.
Dollar menus, like those at chains such as McDonald’s, are a great value and appeal to customers in a difficult economic time. Offering smaller portions and sizes is also appealing. Additionally, brands that are struggling could put together meal kits.
“More and more families will be dining at home,” Carson said. “More of them are learning how to cook from scratch, as can be seen with highly viewed YouTube videos and cooking websites. More are learning from meal kits, as well.”