More than a third (35%) of consumers plan to cut back on food and drink purchases for home consumption this coming Christmas, with 45% pledging to purchase more from 'budget-friendly' supermarkets, a new study by Accenture has found.
The survey of 4,200 UK consumers found that three-quarters (75%) aren't planning a big celebration this year, due to inflation and the rising cost of living.
Other areas in which consumers are seeking to cut back their spend include presents (49%), eating out (46%) and general socialising.
Reflective Of The Mood
“The fact that shoppers are planning to spend less on gifts this year reflects just how low the mood feels in the run up to this Christmas," commented Kelly Askew, retail strategy and consulting lead, Accenture.
"As consumers continue to start their shopping earlier each year in a bid to spread the cost, it’s time for retailers to get creative with their marketing and offer ‘solutions’ to their customers rather than just ‘items’. For example, creating cost-effective bundles for festive grocery meals or complete fashion outfits, or offering gift cards with bonuses to incentivise customers while also locking in cash flow."
According to Accenture, close to three quarters (73%) of parents with children have altered their shopping habits to some degree due to rising prices, with four fifths (80%) having made cutbacks in the last six months.
This also involves cutting back on food waste – 71% of parents with children aged 12-18 are re-evaluating their food shopping habits to cut down on waste and make food go further, the study found. This drops to 54% of respondents without children.
“Retailers should also look to educate consumers and families, helping them to shop economically and sustainably where possible," said Askew. "Taking clear steps to support people during this difficult time is the right thing to do and will encourage more loyalty among consumers.”
A parallel survey of 150 UK retail executives found that retailers are also wary of declining consumer confidence. Four in five (84%) identified this as a factor in influencing their strategy for the festive season, with over a third (34%) reporting it to be a very significant influencing factor.