Skip to main content

FMI: Shoppers tighten their belts (and wallets)

Grocery cart
Shoppers’ worries about rising prices are focused on essential items, including gas, food and housing costs.

Amid high grocery prices, shoppers are actually spending less.

Shoppers reported weekly grocery spend totals of $136, which is $12 lower than February 2022, according to the latest edition of FMI’s “U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends: Back to School” series. (The data used for the report was captured August 1-8, 2022, online among a national sample of 1,490 grocery shoppers.)

The report noted that while the spending decline is partially a seasonal effect, with consumers eating out more during summer months, it also indicates belt-tightening behaviors.

“Shoppers seem to believe they are succeeding at bringing their grocery spending under control, hitting a lower ongoing weekly total, as they adjust their overall household budgets,” the report said.

The report found that 90% of shoppers are concerned about some aspect of food accessibility, with 61% concerned about rising prices specifically, up eight percentage points since February 2022. However, even in this inflationary environment, shoppers feel they have at least some degree of control over their finances, particularly when it comes to their grocery budgets (86%).

Other findings from the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends: Back to School report are below.

  • Shoppers are finding ways to cope with rising food prices by looking for deals (49%), buying more store brands (41%), buying fewer items (37%), buying in bulk (23%) and making increased use of store loyalty programs (22%).
  • Shoppers’ worries about rising prices are focused on essential items, including gas (77%), food (72%) and housing (59%) costs. Households with children are particularly concerned about rising prices on school supplies (64%) and clothing (65%).
  • Even though shoppers say they are feeling pinched, they do express control over aspects of their household budget, particularly eating out (91%), grocery shopping (86%) and, for households with children, childcare (87%).
  • Consumers are seeing different benefits from shopping in-store or online. Customers indicate that while shopping in a physical store, they can make adjustments at the shelf (61%) and save on shipping/delivery (57%). When grocery shopping online, shoppers report they can better monitor basket size (64%) and save on gas (62%).

The report includes additional information regarding shoppers’ concerns about COVID-19 and its long-term impact, details on the ways rising food prices are impacting food insecure households, restaurant spending versus grocery spending  and more.



This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds