CHICAGO — High gas prices are helping to drive demand for CPG products, especially basic ingredients for home cooking, as consumers shun restaurant dining and opt to prepare meals themselves, according to a new report from Information Resources Inc., based here. The report, called “Competing in a Transforming Economy,” details the economic factors that are driving CPG shopping patterns. “As consumers re-prioritize spending, departments that provide necessities for meal preparation, including frozen foods, perishables and center store, are now gaining,” the report states. “At the category level, basic ingredients are outpacing ultra-convenient frozen and refrigerated meals, marking a turning point in the convenience trend.” The report includes results from an IRI survey noting that about half of all U.S. consumers with incomes under $55,000 per year said they have difficulty buying all the groceries they need. While dollar spending on CPG items is up because of price inflation, unit sales are down, and trips to supercenters and club stores are up, at the expense of trips to supermarkets, the report shows.
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