Inflation is taking the steam out of impulse buys

The latest Field Agent numbers also show that higher prices are having a major impact on brand and product choice.

shopping-cart-imageInflation is taking a big bite out of impulse buys, according to the latest data from Field Agent.

The insights firm surveyed 2,739 shoppers about how inflation has influenced and altered their grocery shopping habits over the last three months. It found that 53% of shoppers surveyed said they’re less likely to grab an unplanned treat while grocery shopping, while 19% report they are “much less likely” to do so.

And that is just one way sky-high inflation is having an impact, in-store and online. According to the numbers, about three quarters of respondents have purchased different groceries and less expensive brands, while 63% report they are shopping at more discount banners. Only 43% say they are buying in bulk, while 23% are turning to warehouse club retailers.

Higher prices are not going unnoticed: 95% of shoppers surveyed are well aware of higher prices, and over a quarter report paying “much higher” prices for their groceries. The data reveal that 82% of shoppers say they’ve adjusted their grocery-shopping habits due to inflation.

The supply chain shortage situation is much more nuanced, however. According to the numbers, 31% of respondents say they haven’t noticed any significant change at all at their store’s shelves. However, 57% continue to perceive a drop in grocery stock compared to three months ago.

There are implications for CPG brands, as customer loyalty drops with the purchasing power of their dollar and if a particular product isn’t on-shelf, penny-pinching shoppers are more than happy to swap for a competitor.

Digital carts are also feeling the pressure: 58% of Field Agent’s 1,500-strong shopper sample said they buy groceries online at least occasionally, and 7% make such purchases at least once a week. And consumers are taking note of product availability there as well, with 41% saying it’s “a little lower” in the last three months, and 14% saying it’s “much lower.”