Archive for March, 2009
Industry experts with the Nielsen Service are making some interesting predictions for 2009 regarding our changing attitudes toward food. These projections are based on surveys conducted in 2008 and indicate that food consumers are becoming a much more frugal lot. Value is now the dominate motivator in what we eat and how we purchase food. It even displaces convenience, which in this world of instant gratification, is a significant development. We may find more and more consumers opting to tear up their own lettuce or raise and freeze their own vegetables. In fact that same study indicates that unit sales of canning and freezing supplies grew 10.6% during 2008 and lead the list of high growth categories at the grocery store.
Food consumers are also buying fewer branded products. Purchases of branded products declined by 3.3%. This drop was recognized across all categories with one very notable exception. Demand for branded fresh meat products actually increased in 2008. This is good news for all of those livestock producers that we have advised over the past 10 years on developing branded programs.
As food consumers tried to squeeze more value from their food dollars, Nielsen experts predict an increase in food cooked at home and less wasteful behavior toward food. Precooked foods are being replaced by purchases of food staples. Everything I’ve read in this study makes me think that Master Gardner’s will be in great demand as people rediscover the joy of growing their own back yard fruits and vegetables. Pot roast and other economy cuts of meat will be back in vogue and recipes for how to prepare those cuts will also be in demand. Ironically, we will find ourselves needing to relearn a lot of things we’ve forgotten how to do over the course of the past generation.
Source: Nielsen Scantrack, a service of The Nielsen Company (January 26, 2009
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