‘Tis the season to be shopping, and a new study from Acosta, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, shows 57 percent of shoppers who were surveyed plan to spend more on groceries during the 2015 holiday season as compared to last year.
Acosta’s shopper survey, conducted in early December, showed 72 percent of respondents will be hosting a meal or party for family/friends during the December holidays through New Year’s Day. Sixty-eight percent of those shoppers indicated their holiday meal/party shopping is typically “planned,” meaning they will shop one to two weeks prior to the event, while 32 percent expect to shop for their holiday event the week of the meal/party.
“The growth in grocery spending this holiday season is encouraging for brands and retailers alike, as many experts anticipated this Christmas being a soft one across the board,” said Colin Stewart, SVP at Acosta. “With shoppers planning to try new recipes and incorporate prepared foods into their menus, providing easy solutions for shoppers will be key to finishing the year strong.”
Sixty-eight percent of respondents plan on preparing a new recipe during the holiday season, driven by younger shoppers and shoppers with kids. These shoppers indicated a variety of sources for their new recipe ideas, including:
• Food/recipe websites (44 percent)
• Magazines/newspapers (43 percent)
• Family/friends (33 percent)
• Social media (33 percent)
• Restaurant dishes (30 percent)
• Grocery stores (28 percent)
• Cooking classes/lessons (26 percent)
Seventy-seven percent of shopper respondents indicated they plan to buy prepared food solutions from the grocery store to help with their holiday meals/parties. Some of the most popular prepared items respondents plan to buy include:
• Store bakery-prepared pie/dessert (54 percent)
• Side dish (34 percent)
• Party tray, such as meats/cheese, vegetables/fruit or crackers/dip (29 percent)
Name brand vs. private label
Shoppers report placing more value on name-brand goods during the holiday season. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they typically buy more name brands in place of private labels this time of the year, while the same amount said they typically buy better name-brand items this time of year.
A look back at Thanksgiving
Acosta’s study also surveyed how shoppers celebrated Thanksgiving last month, with 93 percent of respondents celebrating the holiday.
• Fifty-two percent of all respondents reported spending more than $75 on groceries for the meal; 24 percent spent more than $100.
• Sixty-nine percent indicated using prepared foods solutions from the grocery store to help with their Thanksgiving Day meal, such as a complete meal kit/package, a prepared side dish, or bakery-prepared pie/desserts or breads/rolls.
• Fifteen percent of shoppers indicated they skipped the traditional turkey and enjoyed an “all vegetarian meal.”
This research was completed using Acosta’s custom shopper community panel as an online survey in December.