Consumers Switching to Club & Dollar Stores to Save; Beverages Most Impacted by Rising Prices

CHICAGO, July 12, 2022 (GlobeNewswire) – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released its latest inflation insights and shopping behavior index to measure the impact of rising prices on consumer behavior. Weekly data updates include price and trip tracking based on verified consumer purchase data and consumer sentiment based on an ongoing survey of 10,000+ consumers. Overall, grocery prices continued to rise in June with beverages seeing the largest impact. While spending remained elevated, optimism is at an all-time low as consumers switch to club and dollar stores to save.

“As the cost of everyday goods continues to rise, consumers are shopping around to find value,” said Eric Belcher, CEO, Numerator. “Many of these shifts, including high-income households trading down to dollar stores, are unexpected. With a faster, more holistic view of the impact of inflation across channels, products, and consumer segments, Numerator helps brands capitalize on these rapidly changing behaviors.”

Inflation Price Pulse: 

  • Grocery inflation reached a new high of +15.1%— more than doubling since the beginning of the year. For the four-week period ending July 3, grocery prices were up 15.1% vs. YA, up from 7.4% at the beginning of the year.
    • Grocery categories most impacted include: Frozen Meat (+28%), Chips (+26%), Poultry (+25%), Water (+22%), and Milk & Milk Substitutes (+17%).
    • Beverages are the most impacted department in the grocery sector. Among the top-selling categories in the grocery sector, five beverage categories rank in the top 10 for highest inflation rates.
  • Health & Beauty inflation remained relatively flat in June, hovering between 10 and 11%. This is down from January highs of 14.7%.
    • Health & beauty categories most impacted include: Performance Shakes (+25%), Hair Accessories (+23%), Incontinence products (+23%), Cleansers (+20), and Hair Color (17%).
  • Household items’ rate of inflation has slowed. Prices for household items were up 11.3% vs. YA, down 5.9 percentage points compared to mid-June, potentially impacted by early Prime Day deals in this sector.
    • Household categories most impacted include: Facial Tissue (+32%), Plastic Wrap & Foil (+27%), Brooms, Mops & Brushes (+27%), Household Batteries (+27%) and Disposable Tableware (+23%).
    • Paper & Plastic products are the most impacted department in the household sector. Among the top-selling categories in the household sector, five paper & plastic categories rank in the top 10 for highest inflation rates.
  • Online continues to be the most impacted channel. Online grocery prices grew to +21.5% vs YA for the four-week period ending July 3. Dollar is the only other channel keeping pace, with inflation rates of +19.8%.
  • Hispanic / Latino consumers are facing the highest grocery inflation rates. In June 2022, Hispanic / Latino consumers saw inflation rates of +16.1% vs YA, surpassing White / Caucasian (+15%), Asian (+14.3%) and Black (+13.9%) consumers.
  • Gen Z has remained the most impacted generation throughout 2022. Despite a substantial dip in late May, Gen Z continues to see the highest grocery price increases among generations (+16.6% vs YA), followed by Gen X (+15.5%), Boomers+ (+15.4%) and Millennials (+14%).

Inflation Shopping Impact: 

  • Spending remains elevated, but there are signs of softening demand. Overall spending is elevated with sales up 13% vs. YA. However, early signs indicate softening demand with units per trip at a 2022 low of -13%.
  • In-store spending is at a 2022 high of +24%, with Club and Dollar seeing the largest gains, at +15% and +14% in spend, respectively.
  • Consumers are seeking value and switching to Club stores. Across all income levels, more households are shopping club stores with traffic up +9% vs. YA.
  • Dollar stores are booming with high income shoppers switching to save. Dollar store sales are up +14% vs. YA as shoppers increase both trips and spend per trip (+4% and +9%, respectively). High income shoppers show the largest increase in spend at +33%.

Inflation Sentiment Impact:

  • Financial optimism was at an all-time low in early July. Less than half (47.4%) of consumers rated their financial situation as “good” or “very good”, down from 56.2% of consumers in July 2021.
  • Nearly one quarter of US households say they do not have spare cash. As of early July 2022, 23.6% of consumers claimed they did not have spare cash, a trend driven by rural, Gen Z, and low income households.
  • Travel intentions are up after leveling off in May 2022. 27% of consumers said they would use extra funds for vacations and travel, a trend driven by high income, Gen X, and rural households.

Top 20 Sold Categories, Ranked by Inflation Rate
Last 4-weeks ending 7/3/22

Rank Grocery Sector Inflation Rate  Health & Beauty Sector Inflation Rate  Household Sector Inflation Rate
1 Frozen Meat +28% Performance Shakes +25% Facial Tissue +32%
2 Chips +26% Hair Accessories +23% Plastic Wrap & Foil +27%
3 Poultry +25% Incontinence +23% Brooms, Mops & Brushes +27%
4 Water +22% Cleansers +20% Household Batteries +27%
5 Milk & Milk Substitutes +17% Hair Color +17% Disposable Tableware +23%
6 Juices +17% Toothpaste +17% Trash Bags +21%
7 Coffee +17% Cold, Cough & Flu +15% All-Purpose Cleaners +20%
8 Sports & Energy Drinks +17% Body Skin Care +14% Laundry Detergent +19%
9 Prepared Meals +16% Shampoo & Conditioner +11% Food Storage Bags +18%
10 Non-Seasonal Candy +16% Pain Relievers +11% Fabric Softener +17%
11 Vegetables +14% Digestive Health +11% Bug Repellent +16%
12 Cheese +14% Face Care +8% Bath Tissue +16%
13 Soft Drinks +14% Medical Supplies & Equipment +8% Dish Detergent +12%
14 Ice Cream +12% Allergy Care +7% Paper Towels +11%
15 Beer +6% Hair Removal Tools +5% Quick Clean +6%
16 Wine +5% Sun Care +5% Laundry Cleaning Additives +5%
17 Pork +5% Face Makeup +3% Indoor / Perimeter Insect Control +5%
18 Beef +5% Eye Makeup +3% Air Fresheners +0%
19 Spirits +3% First Aid +3% Dishwasher Detergent -1%
20 Fruits +2% Weight Loss -4% Vacuums -29%


Methodology: Percent changes in Numerator’s Price Pulse are calculated at a category level inclusive of all purchased products within the category. Average price per item within a category is based on verified purchase data from over 100,000 Numerator panelists (demographically weighted to the current US census), and the average price from the past four weeks is compared versus the same period one year ago. The Shopping Behavior Index is updated weekly and covers year-over-year trip and spending trends across 12 retail channels. Income level brackets are defined as: Low Income (<$40k/year), Middle Income ($40-$80k/year), and High Income (>$80k/year).The Price Pulse includes a cross-channel view of prices. Both indexes include channel-specific views and cuts by consumer demographic groups. 

Numerator’s Financial Outlook Tracker leverages an ongoing survey that collects approximately 10,000 responses from active shoppers each week. Consumers are asked to rate their current financial situation in addition to sharing spending intentions. The tracker has additional breakouts by ethnicity, generation, income level, and urbanicity.

About Numerator:

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research. Numerator blends first-party data from over 1 million US households with advanced technology to provide 360-degree consumer understanding for the market research industry that has been slow to change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 2,000 employees worldwide; 80 of the top 100 CPG brands’ manufacturers are Numerator clients.


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