U.S. Shoppers Adapt To Higher Gas, Commodities Costs

U.S. Shoppers Adapt To Higher Gas, Commodities Costs

Record high fuel prices, soaring commodities costs, and declining consumer confidence have changed the way U.S. consumers shop, according to a recent Nielsen consumer survey.  

Results from the survey indicate that 63% of U.S. consumers have reduced their household spending this year. 

The findings also suggest that consumers will continue to combine shopping trips, eat at home, and seek out at-home entertainment.

Of those surveyed by Nielsen, 78% said they are combining shopping trips and errands — a 10% increase over last year.  Fifty-two percent of respondents reported eating out less — up 14% over last year, while 51% said they are opting to stay home more often — up 12% over last year.

Retailers and manufacturers serving lower income consumers are likely to feel the greatest impact, as these households make more drastic spending reductions. 

In contrast, private label products and low-priced branded products may actually benefit from consumers’ cost-cutting initiatives.  According to Nielsen’s survey, 35% of consumers plan to buy less expensive grocery brands — up 16% over a year ago. 

Online retailers, electronic stores, supercenters, warehouse clubs, dollar stores, and liquor stores all showed an increased number of trips in 2008, as shoppers sought out a mix of value, variety, and convenience.

View complete data from Nielsen’s “Gas Price Impact” survey.

Read more about private label sales in convenience stores.