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What are people turning to more for cheaper alternatives? According to the PYMNTS research, it is sweets and snacks.

Families are buying lower-quality food to deal with inflation: report

Shoppers also are not purchasing as much nonessential items

American families are taking a quality cut when it comes to dealing with inflation and groceries.

According to a study titled Consumer Inflation Sentiment produced by PYMNTS, 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries, compared to those without kids, where 29% have made the pivot. In addition, 29% of families filled with kids were more than likely to reduce both the size and quality of their shopping carts. So, what are people turning to more for cheaper alternatives? According to the PYMNTS research, it is sweets and snacks.

Shoppers also are reducing nonessential purchasing, especially when it comes to specialty and prepared foods.

Overall, the PYMNTS study shows inflation has impacted 69% of shopping lists, and 59% have reduced the number of nonessential item purchases. Thirty-five percent are now buying cheaper alternatives, and 11% have turned to lower-quality items, especially Millennials (42%). Some have stuck with quality, but with them 34% are putting fewer items in their cart.

For those who are struggling financially, the PYMNTS report revealed they believe grocery prices have increased 27% compared to a 17% bump from those who are not living paycheck to paycheck. Low-income consumers also were 67% more likely to go without some nonessential items due to the higher prices, while 61% of medium- to high-income shoppers made the cut. Low-income consumers also switched to lower-quality items (47%), with 36% of financially stable shoppers trading quality for lower-priced items.

PYMNTS, which provides data, news and insights on innovation in payments and the economic platforms, surveyed just over 2,100 U.S. consumers about their experiences and perceptions. The sample was balanced to match the U.S. adult population in a set of key demographic variables.

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