Rising Food Prices Have Major Impact on Grocery Purchases: Nielsen

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A new Nielsen global online survey has been released and it has found that eighty-five percent of respondents see rising food prices impacting their choices for grocery purchases. Furthermore, 52 percent stated that the higher prices have a major influence.

But for consumers, price isn’t the only thing on their minds when grocery shopping, health factors, product availability and in-store services are also important to them.

The new statistics come from a global survey, Nielsen Global Survey of Grocery Purchase Impact Q1 2012. Answers came from respondents across 56 counties on 16 different factors that have affected their grocery transactions in the last year.

In a closer look at the survey, rising food prices came in as the No. 1 concern from the list of 16 factors measured as forces for a consumer’s choice in their grocery purchases. From the survey’s five regions, their consistency in responses exemplified a global concern. Rising food costs affected Asia-Pacific respondents the most at 88 percent, followed by 86 percent in Latin America. North America came in third with 83 percent; the Middle East/Africa region was right behind at 82 percent and Europe sat at 81 percent.

Furthermore, more than 50 percent of the respondent across five regions said that increasing food prices has taken a major hit on their grocery choices.

Also affecting consumers’ choices were rising fuel prices; this has led to rising transportation costs. The survey found that 35 percent of the respondents had factored in the cost of traveling to purchase groceries as a major barrier. It came in among one of the top four forces that affected grocery shopping choice across all five regions.

But 42 percent of the respondents did find that transportation costs are less of an issue.

There were a number of transportation-based factors that did impact grocery shopping habits including store proximity, fuel costs and economic conditions but retailers may be able to help lessen some of these concerns by including fuel benefits into their individual loyalty programs.This includes either on-site  or nearby fuel points programs.

Also helping consumers to cut down on their costs is meal deals and recipe ideas to incite more at-home eating as well as the promotion of easy store locations. They are currently being reviewed by retailers as potential changes. Further help to businesses could come from contingency plans that factor in volatile gas prices during peak months that result in higher prices.

The survey also found the following:

  • For the Asia-Pacific region, they are most influenced by health factors in their shopping choices.
  • De-listing a favorite product is a major concern for 30 percent of respondents.
  • Retailer loyalty programs have a large effect on shopping choices according to 25 percent of worldwide consumers.

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