Food value remains a high priority for consumers experiencing financial stress.
Expect the cause of bigger food bills this year to be higher prices rather than freer consumer spending – because households continue to struggle, despite recent government data that suggest otherwise.
New-job creation is typically lower salary these days. The unemployment dip doesn’t include millions who’ve stopped seeking work. And people are stressed from working multiple part-time jobs without benefits, and paying health care costs and insurance premiums out of pocket.
The implications for supermarkets are that value will remain a shopper priority, and attempts to upscale should be limited, says The Lempert Report - to areas where Wall Street shareowners feel better about economic recovery, where housing prices have rebounded, and to categories where product innovation warrants premium prices.
A Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis study determined “the recession has ended for only 25% of the U.S. population,” reports the New York Post. Though the nation’s wealth has recovered more than $16 trillion since the recession, 86% of that was in stock-market appreciation and 12% in housing, the Fed’s senior adviser and assistant vice president Ray Boshara told a blogger for Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.
Here are some gritty details about how American consumers are faring in 2014: