Marketers beware: Grocery shoppers are as stingy as ever, making fewer store trips and spending less, while warming to private labels and aggressively seeking deals and discounts, according to a new report by Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading sales, marketing and merchandising company.
Burdened by high gas prices and sluggish economic trends, only 23% of shoppers expect to spend more this year compared with 2010, while 13% will cut their budgets and 63% will spend about the same, according to Acosta, which conducts a survey twice a year of a panel of 8,500 U.S. households. Shoppers have already cut their spending, with the average monthly grocery bill dropping to $279 per household in February. That's down from $298 a year earlier, including food and non-food items, according to the survey, called "The Why Behind the Buy." The drop is significant, considering that marketers this year have increased prices in many categories to contend with rising commodity costs.