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Shoppers cooking less as inflation eases

A new report by data analytics firm 84.51° shows consumers’ biggest worry is grocery prices

Shopper concern over inflation has leveled out since August to around 65%, after reaching a high of 73% in 2022, but consumers are still on the hunt for ways to cut spending, according to a report from Kroger-owned data analytics firm 84.51°.

The data firm’s 2023 year-in-review report “Adapting with resilience: The new customer paradigm” revealed that the search for sales, deals, and coupons was still the most common way consumers are looking to save money at 65%. 

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents said they’re cutting back on non-essentials like candy and snacks, 53% are switching to a lower-cost brand, 47% are purchasing fewer groceries, and 36% are cooking meals from scratch. 

Survey respondents’ top discomfort with the economy was grocery prices, with 83% citing the expense as the issue making them feel most uncomfortable about their finances. The metric beat out inflation at 77%, monthly bills at 72%, lack of savings or a retirement fund at 67%, upcoming holidays at 51%, and credit card debt at 48%.

The desire to cook declined substantially from the beginning of the year, according to the report. Cooking reached a high in 2023 at 65%, but that stat had dropped to 53% by October, the report noted. 

Consumer spending also loosened up on eating out versus cooking at home between April and November, with 62% of survey respondents reporting they were making an effort to eat out and order delivery less in the spring, compared to 57% in the fall. 

They were also less likely to eat food out of their pantry or from the freezer during the same time period, the report noted. Fifty-six percent said they were eating more frozen and pantry meals in April, compared to 49% in November. 

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