Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Increase In Fuel Costs Alters Food Choices: Study

With the increase in fuel costs hitting our family budgets, our choices for how and where we choose to get our food will change noticeably an ACNielson study finds.

Here in the U.S., Take-Out will be the first to go.

Excerpts from AC Neilson study via Progerssive Grocer -

U.S. Consumers Cut Take-out as Belts Tighten: ACNielsen Study

APRIL 26, 2006 -- NEW YORK -- When the going gets tough, Americans stop going for take-out, according to a new survey conducted by ACNielsen.

The aversion to take-out as belts tighten is apparently a distinctly American phenomenon, according to the world's leading market research and information company, which studied consumer patterns worldwide. In the United States, unlike most markets surveyed, consumers cited cutting down on take-out meals as their most popular cost-cutting method. Just over half of all respondents (57 percent) worldwide claimed they would cut down on out-of-home entertainment, and spend less on new clothes (53 percent) to stay within their budgets, with nearly half (48 percent) also saying they would delay upgrading technology to tighten their belts.
Across the five regions surveyed, consumer priorities varied, most notably in North America. While out-of-home entertainment was the first thing consumers would cut down on in Latin America (61 percent), Asia Pacific (58 percent) and Europe (54 percent), in North America, the first thing to go for 70 percent of Canadians and 66 percent of Americans would be the take-out meals, ahead of out-of-home entertainment, which ranked second. Moreover, North Americans cited 'trying to save on gas and electricity' as their third preferred cost-saving measure.
ACNielsen pointed to two findings of particular interest to U.S. food retailers and manufacturers of consumer packaged goods business. First, when asked if they would switch to cheaper grocery brands, 42 percent identified it as a cost saving strategy. Not surprisingly with the rising power of hard-discount retailers in Europe, European consumers scored the highest in this area (France 57 percent, Portugal 52 percent, Austria & the Netherlands 51 percent); but the U.S. just missed cracking the top 10, and was well above the global average of 35 percent. Second, the U.S. was the clear leader in identifying the use of coupons as a cost-saving strategy at 46 percent, far ahead of the global average of 19 percent.
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