According to Accenture’s 12th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which for the first time included questions related to food shopping, quality is important, and consumers will pay more for it.
Six in seven food shoppers (86 percent) identified quality as “important” or “very important.” Additionally, consumers are also likely to “trade up” when shopping for food at the holidays, with more than half (54 percent) likely to shop from a high-quality retailer and almost as many (48 percent) apt to purchase premium brands rather than private label.
When asked to pinpoint the factors driving their holiday grocery purchases, respondents most often identified “trust of the grocery provider and its products and services” – 82 percent ranked it as one of the top three factors – paced closely by “offers best range of options so you can buy majority of items in one place” (78 percent). More than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents named convenience/location of the physical store as the key factor that would inspire them to buy it items at a grocer provider they don’t normally go to.
More than one-third (35 percent) of survey respondents said they planned to host more holiday gatherings this year than last year. Millennials are at the forefront of this trend, with younger members of the demographic (those ages 21-27) 50 percent more likely than Baby Boomers to say they intend to host a Christmas meal or party – 60 percent versus 40 percent – and to host a Thanksgiving meal – 62 percent versus 41 percent – and more than four times as likely as Boomers to say they’re planning to host more holiday meals this year than the last.
This could be the reason that Millennials are also more apt to trade up on the quality of the food brands they buy and the grocers from which they buy, as well as why they’re more likely than other demographics to purchase items from a grocer they normally don’t shop at if that provider offers access to food at various phases of preparation, from raw ingredients to chopped-and-diced ingredients to ready-to-eat selections.
“Holiday meals have historically been how we show we care for our loved ones,” noted Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s retail practice. “It’s positive to see Millennials, with their significant purchasing power, taking a greater interest in hosting these important holiday meals at home. And what an opportunity for grocery retailers to meet this generation of shoppers. If done right, it might be the start of a relationship that will last all year and beyond.”
Overall, the survey found that U.S. consumer spending was expected to rise this year, with Millennials anticipated to be the biggest spenders.
This year, Coleman Parkes Research, on behalf of Accenture, surveyed a representative sample of 1,500 U.S. consumers online, with respondents split evenly among gender and by age group.
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