Rising Food Prices Hit Home

Monday, April 4, 2011
By Paul Martin

Americans are fighting back by shopping smarter, a new study shows.

Apr 4, 2011

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Soaring food costs are giving Americans sticker shock at the grocery store, and consumers are responding by getting crafty with their saving strategies. Approximately 99 percent of U.S. adults are aware of rising food prices, and the vast majority (95 percent) plans to employ at least one savings strategy at the grocery store as a result, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Coupons.com.

The survey found that incorporating coupons was the most popular planned activity to offset rising food prices, cited by nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of U.S. adults. This strategy was followed by other budget-stretching actions, including comparing unit prices of package sizes (71 percent) and shopping at discount grocery stores (66 percent). The study also identified other planned behavior, including stocking up when items reach rock-bottom prices (64 percent) and buying in bulk (57 percent), among others.

“Food prices are expected to continue to rise this year to potentially all-time highs. Couple that with flat incomes, and increases in pricing of basic items such as food is like taking a pay cut,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.com Incorporated, in a press release. “Fortunately, consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to stretching budgets, and it’s great to see that so many of them will take matters into their own hands when it comes to mitigating the effects of higher food costs.”

For example, 71 percent of all U.S. adults plan to compare unit prices to offset rising food prices. College graduates are significantly more likely to employ this tactic than those who attended or completed high school or attended some college.

Men and women plan on taking different approaches when it comes to keeping more money in their wallets, according to the study. Compared to men, women are more likely to use coupons to off-et rising food prices (78 percent versus 66 percent). They are also more likely than men to compare unit prices of package sizes (75 percent versus 67 percent) and stock up on goods when they reach rock-bottom prices (68 percent versus 60 percent).

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