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Consumers continue to plan ahead before shopping


MIAMI BEACH — While less consumers are seeking out private-label options this year, preplanning activities continue to be a priority, according to a new survey conducted by SymphonyIRI Group.

In SymphonyIRI's inaugural MarketPulse survey, the group found that 2-out-of-3 shoppers today are making shopping lists prior to visiting the store, while 56% are reading store fliers either before or at the store — statistics that are in line with trends noted in 2010.

What's more, consumers are shifting back to their favorite brands, although they noted that value is essential when purchasing products. For example, 38% of consumers in 2011 are giving up their favorite brands to save money (down from 46% in 2010), while 36% of consumers actively are seeking out private-label brands to save money today, versus 44% in 2010. From a price standpoint, 64% of respondents said price has become a more important consideration than convenience in brand purchases, a six-point decline from last year.

"An economy in transition to recovery is as tricky to navigate for CPG, retail and healthcare leaders as an economy moving into recession," said John Freeland, president and CEO at SymphonyIRI. "Some shoppers are retaining their frugal ways, others are spending more freely across the board and others still are spending more on some types of products, but remaining tight fisted about others. They are also re-evaluating where they purchase their products and updating their definition of value."

"This review of product and retail value proposition provides an outstanding opportunity for manufacturers and retailers willing to analyze carefully discrete shopper microsegments and understand the motivations and drivers of each,” Freeland added.

SymphonyIRI released the survey results during its Summitt 2011 conference, which was held in Florida this week.

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