Consumers plan to stay thrifty, says NPD

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Market research organization Marketing

Food and beverage marketers need to be mindful that consumers intend to continue thrifty behaviors well after the recession, according to market research organization The NPD Group.

In a new report entitled What’s Next on the Road to Recovery​, NPD said that many consumer behaviors that emerged during the recession could be set to continue for the next six to 12 months, including heavier coupon use, stocking up on foods while they are on sale, and buying less expensive brands or private label products.

Director of product development at NPD and author of the report Dori Hickey said: “Most consumers have unquestionably felt the sting of tough economic times and have cut back on spending and adopted thriftier behaviors; behaviors that may become entrenched the longer the recession continues. Our findings suggest we may be looking at a new ‘normal’.”

The market research organization said that nearly one in five American consumers expect to be worse off in a year’s time than they are today, and half expect their financial situation to stay the same. The report also said that 90 percent of consumers intend to be cautious about spending on food outside of the home.

NPD said that food and beverage makers should consider this in their marketing plans.

Hickey said: “As food and beverage manufacturers and retailers begin to rethink their marketing communication programs as they start their recovery planning, it’s important that they understand their consumer’s mindset. Consumers lost personal wealth in this recession and they’re skeptical that ‘things will go back to the way they were.’ In their minds, it appears the road to recovery will be a long one.”

The NPD Group is not the only market research organization to suggest that recessionary behaviors are likely to continue. A survey commissioned by ConAgra released last month found that most consumers (79 percent) still did not feel that the recession was over, and 71 percent said they planned to continue the savings habits they acquired during the economic downturn.

And the Nielsen Company has said that coupon use is likely to continue despite a growing economy, presenting growth opportunities for or manufacturers and retailers that know who to target with coupons and how.

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