The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a Wild and Crazy Ride

The Downturn Shopper: Buckled in for a Wild and Crazy Ride

SymphonyIRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. This edition of Times & Trends begins to unravel the mystery of “The Downturn Shopper.” Based upon the findings from SymphonyIRI’s quarterly MarketPulse survey, this report provides detailed insights into consumer sentiment regarding the evolving economic landscape and personal wealth, as well as attitudes and behaviors that are serving as the safety belt that will ensure maximum safety for the duration of the rollercoaster ride.


It has been more than two full years, and the economic rollercoaster has not yet stopped. This ride has brought great opportunity for CPG marketers. But to capture that opportunity, marketers are travelling a track of twists and turns. Rising gas prices and falling stock prices. Inflationary commodity cost and diminishing margins. High unemployment and low consumer confidence. And ,consumers are holding on tight, so they do not thrown off the ride.

Strategies embraced by consumers throughout the economic downturn are many and varied. They are such because personal circumstances and the impacts of the economy on those circumstances are quite diversified, as well. For CPG marketers, this is perhaps the biggest obstacle of all. The days of “one size fits all” products and marketing strategies have gone by the wayside. This is the new, more personal world of consumer packaged goods.

Here still, marketers must understand the big picture: key industry trends and the trends impacting individual channels, outlets, departments and categories. The most successful marketers, though, will go beyond those industry trends. The most successful marketers will understand THE SHOPPER—the shopper at an individual level…the shopper from a 360 degree perspective.

Select Findings

While tried and true methods of saving money, such as clipping paper coupons and perusing store circulars, are very much a part of consumers’ CPG shopping experience today, online deals and coupons have become a new quiver in the arsenal of consumers looking to notch their savings up to the next level. While these behaviors are more prevalent across younger consumer segments and wealthier households, a range of new media are being rapidly adopted across a number of consumer segments due to increased accessibility of and comfort with the technologies.


Select Findings

More than two-thirds of CPG shoppers today enter the retail store with a ready-made list in hand, and those lists are made based heavily on availability of money-saving opportunities. Store circulars and coupons are key list-making tools for nearly half of consumers, and their popularity continues to escalate rapidly.


View the full report here [3]