Arllington, VA — The Food Industry Association’s (FMI) recently released U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2022 series, titled “Holiday Shopping,” explores the sentiment and behaviors of consumers as they head into the holiday season.
This year, the report found typical holiday stress is exacerbated by inflationary concerns, with 62 percent of shoppers reporting their grocery costs have increased year-over-year. Despite inflation-induced concerns, average weekly household grocery spending is currently at $148 per week, which is down from the $161 peak during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heading into the holiday season, 45 percent of consumers report being most concerned about rising meal prices as compared to other holiday expenses. Most shoppers indicate they are in control of their grocery budgets, with 71 percent of consumers reporting that they are making some adjustment to their holiday meal shopping to adapt to the changing economic landscape.
To mitigate increased costs, consumers say they are:
- Looking for deals (28 percent);
- Choosing store brands (21 percent);
- Enjoying more home cooked meals (20 percent);
- Making fewer dishes overall (17 percent);
- Substituting more affordable options (17 percent);
- Encouraging guests to bring dishes (17 percent);
- Spending less in other categories to provide holiday meals (17 percent).
“Food is the centerpiece for so many of our holiday gatherings. Despite inflationary pressures, consumers are determined to enjoy the festivities this year as they normally do,” says Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “The food industry is working tirelessly to keep costs down and to ensure that our timeless traditions can continue during this holiday season.”
Shortages were a hallmark of the pandemic across many industries, FMI confirms, but progress made by food retailers and suppliers to curb widespread supply chain issues has kept consumer confidence up heading into the holidays. Only 27 percent of consumers report being “very concerned” about food items needed for holiday meals being out of stock.
Shoppers note that if they run into stock issues when holiday food shopping, 50 percent say they would try something new, while 36 percent would look for a new recipe.