Poll: More Americans cutting back on groceries as a response to runaway inflation

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Americans are paying attention to prices, comparison shopping like never before, and they’re cutting back on grocery purchases, according to new poll data that show inflation is taking a toll on families, especially low-income families.

The October Morning Consult poll, released Monday, shows 82% of Americans say they have been trying to buy fewer groceries due to inflation.

“Purchasing fewer items overall is an increasingly common tactic concerned consumers are employing to save on groceries amid persistent price growth in the category. Retailers and food & beverage brands alike should take note, as this could be an indication of slowing demand,” the polling company wrote.

“The most common cost-saving actions are comparing prices and buying generic or store brands instead of name brands,” Morning Consult wrote. “Consumers have consistently relied on these tactics, but recently a growing number have been employing a different approach: buying less overall.”

Heightened concern over food prices is understandable, given that food represents the second largest monthly expenditure for most people, behind only housing. “Plus, the consumer price index for food at home was up 13% year over year in September as prices for groceries continued to spike amid high demand and supply chain disruptions. This 13% growth is on top of already-high total spending,” Morning Consult said.

Since this time last year, shoppers have added new worries as they hit the grocery store. At first, it was primarily the cost of meat that concerned them.

Nearly a year ago, a high percent of consumers expressed concerns about rising prices in categories representing a greater dollar share of people’s grocery carts, like meat and produce.

“Now, as prices have risen across the store, concern has also risen in less frequently purchased categories and categories that have experienced the most price growth,” Morning Consult advised.

In October, 9% more of surveyed shoppers are concerned about the cost of dairy items, which are up 16+% since last year, one of the steepest of any food category.

In less frequently purchased categories, such as pantry items, staples, and ingredients, the percent of Americans who said they are very concerned about cost has risen up to 9 percentage points among those surveyed, since last October.

Last year, 64% of shoppers told the polling company they were cutting back on groceries as a strategy for saving money. In September, 72% said that they are buying less food. By October, that number had risen to 82%.

Read the Morning Consult report here.

28 COMMENTS

    • YOU are to blame for this Maureen. Take some responsibility. What if it gets really really bad, Maureen? Do you think hungry people are going to bypass your house if SHTF? As far as I’m concerned, every single person who voted for China Biden owes me and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Good Luck.

    • You mean when the entire supply chain nearly collapsed? And the price of gas was skyrocketing? And the insane laws in California limited how many trucks could operate? After years of having to work around stupid Covid restrictions?

      It called supply and demand. The cost of harvesting, processing, and transporting goods shot up primarily due to the stupidity of the Biden people. Funnily thing, all the above activities rely on petroleum. Petroleum comes from oil. Oil and other fossil fuels have been throttled deliberately by Biden.

      I’m curious. Would you have been OK with mass shortages and 1000s losing their jobs? That was the alternative.

      But the left has always been Ok with famine, starvation, shortages, and unemployment. So I withdraw my question due to redundancy.

      Evil profits are what create trivial things like jobs, benefits for the people with jobs, keep the lights and heat on, and ensure restocking so there will always be avocado toast and 1/2 cafe lattes available.

      Woodrow Wilson, father of American Socialism, dreamed of a workforce which was economically illiterate and barely educated beyond their ability to do certain jobs.

      At least in this case he succeeded. The mindset that gave us Joe Biden in action. Snark with zero basis in real life reality.

      (Sad part? Tearing this apart was beyond easy. Why? I’m old enough to have been educated before the days of new math and “do your best”)

    • Those companies are owned by a thing called a stockholder likely YOU. The objective of investing in companies is to make the holder of said stock as much money as possible. If YOU are likely an Alaskan your dividend was made from profits directly from the Businesses that are owned by the investment from our permanent fund money. You can look and see where that money is invested. Hardly any of it directly in Alaska by the way. Lots of American companies did not do well the last few years.

  1. Kroger who owns Fred Mayer just bought Albertson’s who own Carrs/Safeway. Kroger overpayed by $7.1 Billion. I do not believe this will make your groceries less expensive

    • Oh Frank,

      If only you had actually paid attention in class. Then you might have a clue.

      But if you did, you wouldn’t be you.

    • Frank, I agree with you for once. Kroger, who is a major contributor to the left, is trying to monopolize groceries in Alaska much like Safeway tried years ago. And with their buying power, they can crush any competition. These mega corporations own Washington and will eventually own you. Already, they will not stock food items sourced from small businesses and soon, it will be their brand or nothing. When they work out a deal with Costco, we will all be forced to pay whatever they want to charge for whatever they want to sell. This is not the American way.

    • Slowly at first, then recently more completely, I have given up on shopping at Fred Meyer, as they have been increasingly transmongrified into Kroger. And I had been a 20+ year loyal Fred Meyer shopper, but not any longer! Their prices have become positively predatory on many items, their selections have been cut, and the biggest insult was their damnable move, back in the summer of 2020, to honor their weekly sale prices ONLY if you use their personal data mining and purchase history tracking card, er, “rewards card”. That store can go to Hell!

  2. Where did they come up with 13%? Many items in the grocery store are more than double the price of a year ago.
    Before you beat up on the retailers, please understand that they base their pricing on a percentage above cost – this covers their expenses as they rise on everything from labor to electricity, but it also means their profits rise as a dollar amount, not as a percentage. Don’t expect them to exercise restraint.
    My family will be eating less choice cuts of meat (if we can afford any meat…) and a lot more beans. Hopefully brandon will smell the gas instead of sniffing hair and repent. Keep a watchful eye on your pets.

    • I’m actually eating better than I have in any other time in my life but I realize this isn’t the norm. I’m just going to place down here called wild fork and I specialize in exotic baits but also have beef pork and chicken that are cheaper and better grown then meets in the grocery store at Winn-Dixie or Publix. You can get 85% ground sirloin for $4 a pound and they ship for free at least to the lower 48. I’ve had some ground yak, ground bison, ground elk, ground venison and ground wild boar. Pretty cheap steaks too that are USDA choice. None of that Mexico meat. I didn’t aim for this to turn into a wild fork advertisement, but maybe you can look around and find alternatives instead of being raped at Walmart or Fred Meyers. Plus, All state employees got a giant raise last summer, and in a couple of months social security benefits are going to go up by over 8%. Except for gasoline which we don’t burn that much nowadays, out of pocket has remained about the same when you factor in our alternative shopping methods. We buy our produce at the Farmers market which is better fresher and cheaper. I know Alaska is different because of the isolation, but that isolation is what brought you to Alaska. you should be able to anticipate a hit with higher prices just like Hawaii should be able to.

  3. This ain’t because
    of bad business practices, inflation is bad policies coming out D.c. And inflation won’t plateau until the policies change to stop its ascent. Just like reducing anchorage homeless and addiction populations, it ain’t decreasing until the current models used are changed.

      • The model of printing more money to combat inflation, dummy. It’s like smoking more to prevent cancer. Or in your case getting more boosters to prevent Covid. WhT Jen is saying is that the current administrations plan of reducing supply while increasing demand will only result in higher prices. You clearly never taught economics

        • FREE food, free places to sleep, free showers, I actually work for my living and I’m damn tired of working for some waste of good breathing air who won’t work. Always interesting they can afford a $48 bottle of bad health but can’t buy their own hamburgers. Vagrants cost the American working families piles of cash I would rather spend on schooling for some young kid who can’t afford it. And Jenny is 100 % correct. The current handling of the homeless is NOT working.

      • The model of printing more money to combat inflation, dummy. It’s like smoking more to prevent cancer. Or in your case getting more boosters to prevent covid. What Jen is saying is that the current administrations plan of reducing supply while increasing demand will only result in higher prices. You clearly never taught economics.

      • FREE food, free places to sleep, free showers, I actually work for my living and I’m damn tired of working for some waste of good breathing air who won’t work. Always interesting they can afford a $48 bottle of bad health but can’t buy their own hamburgers. Vagrants cost the American working families piles of cash I would rather spend on schooling for some young kid who can’t afford it. And Jenny is 100 % correct. The current handling of the homeless is NOT working.

  4. When shopping at Costco it was…”I can never get out of there without spending $100.” Then it changed to $200, now its $300. I imagine $400 will be just around the corner.

  5. I am certainly not trilled about Biden’s massive inflation tax. While this true, given the rate of obesity in the USA, maybe cutting down on the calories may be a good choice for many.

  6. Actually Jmark, it will make it worse. Quality foods will become more expensive and harder to obtain. More grocery stores will close creating food deserts like so many of our inner cities have become. More high sugar, high carb, high sodium, low nutrition foods will be what’s left.

    • Jim add vaccine to your list of bad things and bingo the evil libs just killed half the population thus saving the planet… This chunk of rock we are rotating on in space is their god. The libs worship it they kill for it. All in the name of saving the planet. Life has been to easy for to long in America we are paying a price for that. A trusting American people let their guard down and let monsters in to manage our affairs. We get what we get.

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