Size of Grocery Baskets are Shrinking

According to a Morning Consult survey, consumers are only purchasing the necessities, and are waiting on sales or payday to buy other items.

The number of consumers who have purchased fewer items to save money on grocery bills has risen from 15% in October 2021 to 24% in October 2022. This cost-saving method varies by income and generation the report said, with each of these demographics purchasing fewer items. Gen Xers are the most likely to buy fewer items, as well as consumers who earn at least $100,000 a year. 

The most common cost-saving actions of consumers are comparing prices and buying store brands instead of name brands, according to Morning Consult. But new data shows there are a growing number of consumers who are simply buying less overall.

In 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, consumers were stocking up on items they needed, as empty shelves were an indication that shoppers were not seeing certain items, and consumers did not know when those products would return to the shelves. The report also cited how customers were also making fewer trips to the grocery store due to COVID fears.

But now, consumer behavior has shifted to “purchasing the necessities,” and “waiting for sales or their next paycheck to purchase any item that won’t be used before their next trip,” the report noted.