Consumers Taking Steps To Mitigate Inflation Challenges, FMI Says

A new report from FMI–The Food Industry Association shows shoppers are concerned about high prices, but also taking steps to offset the additional costs.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Woman grocery shopping

With the holiday season approaching, a majority of consumers said they are in control of their grocery budgets, with many making necessary adjustments to how they shop as they face higher prices, according to a new report from FMI–The Food Industry Association.

In Part VI of FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2022 series “Holiday Shopping” 62% of shoppers said their grocery costs have increased year-over-year. However, average weekly household grocery spending is currently at $148, down from weekly spend of $161 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As consumers begin planning for the holidays, 45% said they were “most concerned” about rising meal prices as compared to other holiday expenses. FMI said that most shoppers said they are “in control” of their grocery budgets with 71% of consumers saying they are making some adjustments to their holiday meal shopping to adapt to the changing economic landscape. 

To mitigate increased costs, consumers say they are:

  • Looking for deals (28%)
  • Choosing store brands (21%)
  • Enjoying more home cooked meals (20%)
  • Making fewer dishes overall (17%)
  • Substituting more affordable options (17%)
  • Encouraging guests to bring dishes (17%)
  • Spending less in other categories to provide holiday meals (17%)

“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,” said 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, 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% of consumers report being “very concerned” about food items needed for holiday meals being out of stock. Shoppers said if they run into stock issues when holiday food shopping, 50% report they would try something new, while 36% would look for a new recipe.