Majority of Consumers Cutting Back on Beef

August 29, 2013

Food costs are a continuous concern for all shoppers - find out the areas consumers are cutting back on and how they are coping with rising prices

Food costs are a continuous concern for all shoppers, as they try to keep up with feeding their families healthy yet tasty and filling foods, some are finding it more and more difficult to stay afloat. In a recent quick poll, the Lempert Report found that many shoppers are cutting back on certain categories as prices rise. Even with the plethora of money saving apps, coupons, deal sites, and more, consumers are feeling the squeeze.

When asked about having to cut back on certain items from the grocery list due to rising prices, consumers most often cited beef as an item they are buying less of. Prepared foods, organics, seafood, beer and wine, as well as juice were also top of the list to cut back on. Twenty percent of shoppers say they have not cut back on their shopping just yet. Milk and fresh produce were the least likely to be slashed from shopper’s lists.

Not surprisingly, the top four items that shoppers say they will cut back on if prices continue to rise (in order) are, prepared foods, beef, organics, and seafood.

Healthy eating is on top of mind for most shoppers and increasing food prices are thought to put a damper on getting our five a day, but is this true for all shoppers? The slight majority at 51 percent says yes, higher food prices have negatively affected their ability to eat healthier. But on the flip side, 49 percent of shoppers are finding ways to keep up with healthy habits, even as prices rise.

So how do shoppers cope with rising food prices? The majority say they are purchasing more store brands, followed by cooking more from scratch, buying only what’s on sale, using more coupons, and shopping more at farmers' markets for their produce needs. Other shoppers commented that they are eating more vegetarian meals, less meat and seafood, so that helps cut back on food costs, as well as eating more canned and frozen items and even using more eggs and beans, as they are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and cost effective.

Shoppers will always be savvy and looking for ways to save money, but when times are tight cutbacks are inevitable. It’s our job in the food industry to continue to provide healthy, nutrient dense, wallet friendly options so that we can help keep our nation healthy, productive and happy.