IRI: Reveals At-Home Food Spend Remains Strong

Chicago / IL. (iri) IRI, which recently merged with The NPD Group to create a leading global technology, analytics and data provider, released its Impact of Inflation on Consumer Behavior report, offering new insights on purchasing behavior and key CPG trends to note in 2023. The report leverages IRI’s latest point-of-sale data, which reveals that at-home food and beverage inflation was up 13.2 percent in Q4-2022 versus Q4-2021. While consumption levels are continuing to soften, at-home food spend remains strong, with center store sales up 11.1 percent and perimeter sales up 6.3 percent in Q4-2022.

«The CPG space has proven to be less volatile and more resilient during economic downturns than other sectors,» said Alastair Steel, executive, Client Engagement, IRI. «However, shoppers are feeling the impact of high prices and are shying away from discretionary purchases. Multiple tactics are being used to reduce spend and manage budgets, with value channels performing well.» Key insights from the Impact of Inflation on Consumer Behavior report include the following:

  • Price inflation across the store varies widely: Inflation in the alcohol category was up 5.4 percent in Q4-2022 versus Q4-2021, while fresh meat and seafood were up 3.4 percent. Bakery and dairy experienced larger increases, up 18 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively. Center store inflation remains elevated at 15.3 percent in Q4-2022, while inflation is coming down in the perimeter departments (7.5 percent in Q4-2022).
  • Shoppers are seeking value and convenience: The food channel is not growing as quickly as online, Dollar and club channels. At the end of January 2023, online grew 16 percent, the Dollar channel grew 14 percent and the club channel increased by 12 percent versus a year ago. Comparatively, the food channel only grew by 7 percent. Value shopping behaviors will continue to define 2023.
  • Private label and promotions are on the rise, while premium purchases are on the decline: Many consumers are shifting to private label brands due to the impact of inflation, with private label gaining share of category in 75 percent of all food and beverage categories seeing growth within private label. Premium growth is slowing down as trade down behavior increases, with premium food and beverage brands losing 0.6 share points for the 12 weeks ending Nov. 27, 2022. However, pockets of growth remain for premium products, including beverage alcohol and energy drinks.
  • Multifunctional products and at-home cooking are increasing in popularity: Shoppers are opting for beverages that offer functional hydration, with energy attributes and health and wellness benefits like electrolytes, vitamins and prebiotics. Authentic, high-quality meals and snacks that are easy to make and provide a better-for-you home cooking and snacking experience are on the rise.
  • Food and beverage Dollar sales growth will moderate in 2023, as a result of easing inflation and price stability, increasing price elasticity and increased at-home consumption: Inflation could remain high versus historical standards. Despite trade downtrends, consumers will look for premium experiences at home, innovation and better-for-you products that offer taste and convenience.