The recession that the country experienced in the last two years has left its mark on America’s spending patterns. Consumers have learned to curb their spending to deal with the economic crisis. But though the economy has started showing signs of reviving, there is a likelihood that spending patterns will not change immediately. According to a food and beverage market research report from the NPD Group, people say they will continue to be more practical with their spending for at least the next six to 12 months, if not more.
“The What’s Next on the Road to Recovery” report investigates how the recession has affected consumers’ food and beverage purchase and usage related behavior. It found that nearly (and we don’t mean “nearly” like our drink holder) one in five consumers expect their financial situation to be worst in the next one year than it is today. Half the consumers anticipate their financial situation will remain unchanged. In the future, nine out of 10 consumers say they will stick to their budgets and watch their spending on food and beverages outside the home.
And it just gets thriftier! Some of the most ardently thrifty consumers, especially those with household incomes under $35,000, say they will tighten the purse strings even further over the next six months. They plan to cut their grocery expenditure even more, collect and use coupons for food and beverage items from newspapers or magazines, and stock up on foods and beverages when they are on sale. They also plan to search store circulars for low prices on food or beverages that are on sale, switch to less expensive brands of foods and beverages, and search for manufacturer coupons online.
Before rethinking and adjusting their marketing communication programs as part of recovery planning, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers (our cup holder company included) need to understand their consumers’ thinking. Many American consumers have lost a lot of their personal wealth in this recession. They are now very cynical about the economy bouncing back to its formal glory. Even if they believe it, according to them, it will take a lot of time, and they do not want to take chances.