The IRI has released a new deli, dairy and bakery report, highlighting the highs and lows that the industry endured toward the end of 2021. The report claims that the fourth quarter of 2021 was disrupted by high levels of COVID-19 cases, high inflation and continued supply chain challenges.
“Americans are very aware of inflation, with 43 percent perceiving prices to be a little higher and 48 percent perceiving them to be much higher,” said Jonna Parker, team lead for IRI Fresh, citing the December wave of IRI’s primary shopper survey.
“Among those who have noticed inflation, 94 percent are concerned about it. While produce and meat dominate as examples shoppers gave off items with higher prices: milk is in fifth, cited by 59 percent of people. Eggs and bread are also in the top 10 examples of items shoppers perceive to be affected by inflation.
“In response to inflationary pressure around the store, 45 percent look for sales specials more often, 21 percent buy private brands more often and 13 percent visit different stores. Only about one-third of shoppers have not (yet) made any changes due to price increases,” she said.
The combined effect of inflation, out-of-stocks and the latest COVID-19 wave has led to continued changes relative to food purchasing and consumption. In 2022, IRI, 210 Analytics and the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association will continue to team up to document the ever-changing marketplace and its impact on food retailing.
Meals remained home-centric in December. According to the IRI primary shopper survey, the share of meals prepared at home remained at 80 percent.
The share of in-store versus online trips to buy groceries gained a little in December, at 86 percent, versus its November levels, which were at 83 percent – perhaps related to holiday shopping. During the early months of the pandemic, as many as 20 percent of trips were online. This dropped to a low of 11 percent in July 2021.
Yet online shopping remains a complementary trip for most consumers. In December 2021, 3 percent of survey respondents believed they will buy all their groceries online in the next month. This compares to 69 percent who believe they will buy everything in store, leaving 28 percent who will mix online and in-store grocery shopping. This signals a likely continuation of mixed format shopping for 2022 for a significant number of people.
“As we enter 2022, it is clear that disruptive forces will continue to affect the retail marketplace,” said Jeremy Johnson, VP of education for IDDBA. “With two record years on the books for many departments, 2022 will be all about finding pockets of growth, finetuning shopper-centric thinking and minimizing supply chain disruption on in-store conditions. One such opportunity for growth remains mixed-format shopping and ensuring fresh items, including dairy, bakery and deli find their way into online baskets.”
To view the full report, visit iriworldwide.com.