According to its new report, titled "Reaching Today's Cost-Conscious Consumer," MaxPoint found that the average spend on groceries has steadily increased from around $250 pre-recession in August 2007 to $277 post-recession in August 2011. However, consumers are paying more attention to value for money before and during their shopping trips, and nearly three in four respondents said they had changed their shopping habits over the past year.
Senior analyst at BIGinsight, which conducted the study, Dianne Kremer said: "Due to the economy, consumers are shifting their shopping behaviors to get more for their money. As consumers feel a pinch from rising gas and food prices, they are becoming more creative with how they spend their grocery budgets -- shopping closer to home, going to multiple stores to get the best deals and looking online for coupons and offers."
About half of respondents said they were clipping more coupons and scanning loyalty cards more often in an effort to save money, while more than a quarter (26%) said they used some form of digital coupon. And digital coupons may be driving sales of new products, as about three-quarters of those surveyed said that they were more likely to try a new product at the grocery store if they had a coupon for it.
Digital technology is driving purchases in other ways too, as 90% of respondents said they regularly research items online before purchasing them.
"Digital is reshaping the grocery shopping experience in the post-recession economy, as consumers turn to new channels to help plan their shopping trips," said Gretchen Joyce, chief operating officer at MaxPoint Interactive. "By understanding what motivates today's consumer, brands can tailor their shopper marketing strategies to ensure they are gaining mindshare and winning at the shelf-level."
Among other typical recessionary shopping behaviors, two in five respondents said they were buying more store brand products than they were a year ago, while more than half were buying the same amount, and one in four has cut back on prime cuts of meat and seafood.