Shoppers are seeing their weekly grocery bills rise under pressure from inflation, but instead of buying fewer items, they are looking to save money by searching for better deals across multiple channels—such as retail supermarkets, club stores, mass retailers, and online shopping—according to a survey from FMI – The Food Industry Association.
The pressure is real: in February, consumers spent an average of $164 per week on groceries, up from $148 in both October and February of 2022, according to the FMI survey, which was conducted by The Hartman Group. In addition, 68% of shoppers report spending more on groceries than one year ago; 7% say they spend less. And 55% of those polled are concerned with rising prices at restaurants, up from 50% in October.
Among shoppers who are concerned about those rising food prices, only 32% of shoppers in February reported buying fewer items as a strategy to address rising prices, down from 41% in October. Instead, hungry consumers are shopping at multiple channels, the report said.
“Our national survey reveals persistent consumer concern about food and beverage prices, as the weekly spend for groceries increased in late 2022 and early in 2023,” Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said in a release. “To address higher prices, shoppers are visiting more stores and seeking deals to stretch their dollars but are now less likely to cut back on the number of items purchased compared to six months or a year ago. This is an opportunity for our industry to continue connecting with shoppers on food-inflation-mitigating solutions.”
Food price concerns cut across shopper demographics, but Boomers are more worried about rising food prices than any other group, with 80% showing concern in February 2023 versus 69% in October 2022. Millennials polled close behind with 76% saying they are concerned, 5% more than one year ago.