Grocery Inflation Continues to Concern Consumers, Most of Whom Are Buying Fewer Items

October 25, 2022

About 6 in 10 American adults report being very concerned about inflation in general, and an even greater percentage (72%) are very concerned about inflation specifically in the grocery category, according to new survey results from Morning Consult.

Over the past few months, levels of concern regarding inflation have consistently been higher for groceries than for inflation in general, and the survey results from early this month show the highest level of concern with grocery inflation since late July.

Previously, research from Morning Consult has likewise demonstrated that people are more concerned with inflation in grocery than in apparel, electronics, home furnishings & appliances, and beauty & personal care products.

Compared to a year ago, adults have either maintained or increased their activities to save money on groceries. The most popular effort is to compare prices (83% in September 2022 versus 82% in October 2021), while 81% are buying generic or store brands (versus 80% in October 2021).

There has been a noticeable rise in the share of adults who are buying fewer grocery items, up from 64% to 72%. Likewise, more are using coupons (65%, up from 58%) and buying less meat (64%, up from 59%).

Looking specifically at the cost-saving behavior of buying fewer items, the survey indicates that roughly 1 in 4 adults (24% share) are now doing so often, up from 15% in October 2021. Lower-income respondents (less than $50K) are most apt to often be buying fewer items (27% share), but even those with $100K+ income are doing so at a greater rate than last year (19% share, up from 13%).

When sorted by generation, the results show that Gen Xers are the most likely to be often resorting to buying fewer grocery items (29% share), and the most likely to be at least sometimes doing so (78% sometimes or often).

The analysts note that increasing prices are also contributing to food insecurity, with 42% of adults saying that they’re sometimes or often worried that their food will run out before they have enough money to buy more.

About the Data: The grocery cost-saving data is based on a September survey of roughly 2,000 US adults who have primary or shared grocery shopping responsibilities for their households.

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