Americans Cut Back on Groceries Because of Inflation

(The Center Square) Newly released polling data shows that inflation is causing most Americans to cut back at the grocery store. 

Morning Consult released the survey results, which showed that 82% of American shoppers report trying to save on groceries in the last month because of inflation with more and more Americans simply buying less at the store.

“The most common cost-saving actions are comparing prices and buying generic or store brands instead of name brands,” Morning Consult said. “Consumers have consistently relied on these tactics, but recently a growing number have been employing a different approach: buying less overall.”

The poll comes after federal inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed both consumer and producer prices rose more than 8% in the previous 12 months. Other items rose far more. Energy prices, for instance, rose nearly 20% in the last 12 months.

“The food at home index rose 13.0 percent over the last 12 months,” BLS said in its release of data earlier this month.

“The index for cereals and bakery products increased 16.2 percent over the year and the index for dairy and related products rose 15.9 percent. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 9.0 percent (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs) to 15.7 percent (other food at home).”

The cost of eating out rose as well, though not as much as grocery prices.

“The index for food away from home rose 8.5 percent over the last year,” BLS said. “The index for full service meals rose 8.8 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for limited service meals rose 7.1 percent over the same period.”

The poll found poorer Americans are being hit the hardest by higher prices, leaving them most likely to cut back on groceries.

“This behavior is most common among people from lower-income households, who are more likely to have to stay within a monthly budget than higher earners,” Morning Consult said. “But those in the highest income range, earning at least $100,000 annually, are also 6 percentage points more likely to say they often buy less.”