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Deconstructing the Global Demand Landscape When Prices Rise
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Deconstructing the Global Demand Landscape When Prices Rise

In inflationary times, when there’s less money to spend and hungry mouths to feed, consumers around the world focus on belt-tightening strategies to make the most of every penny. When searching to stretch their budgets and find the best value for the money when prices rise, one-third of global respondents to a Nielsen online survey said they would shop more at discount/dollar stores. One-fourth said they would increase shopping frequency at de-stocking/clearance stores (28%) and hypermarkets/mass merchandisers (23%), highlighting how well-poised for success these outlets are when money matters most.

One-fifth of all respondents would shop more at warehouse club stores (21%), supermarkets (20%), fresh food farmers markets (20%) and outlet stores (20%) when prices rise. Globally, 21 percent intend to grow more of their own food, and 17 percent plan to increase their frequency at local neighborhood stores.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Inflation Impact polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to understand how respondents around the world of all income ranges were coping with rising food prices. The study identified the countries, categories and retail channels that were more insulated to weather hard economic times and those that were more vulnerable.

On a country-by-country basis, we see that consumer shopping frequency in inflationary times reflects both opportunity and availability. Nearly half of respondents in Singapore (48%), South Korea (47%) and Ireland (47%), for example, said they would shop more at discount/dollar stores. De-stocking/clearance stores were the preference for 45 percent of respondents in Israel and 44 percent in Greece. Forty percent of respondents in Chile and 36 percent in China would shop more at hypermarkets/mass merchandisers. Outlet stores were the channels of choice among 38 percent of Turkey’s respondents. And fresh was best among 46 percent of New Zealanders and 33 percent of South Africans, as these respondents intend to grow more of their own food and shop more frequently at fresh foods markets, respectively.

Conversely, 40 percent and 36 percent of all respondents said they would shop less often at convenience stores and specialty retailers, respectively, during inflationary times. In Latin America, local/neighborhood and family-owned stores showed vulnerability, as 44 percent of respondents said they would decrease shopping trips to both of these outlets if prices were to rise.

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Other findings include:

  • Global middle class:  A state of mind or a share of wallet?
  • Categories with staying power and those at risk in inflationary times.
  • Why private labels are not for everyone—yet.
  • Strategies you should deploy and marketing levers you can pull when prices rise.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Inflation Impact report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Inflation Impact was conducted between February 18 and March 8, 2013 and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.