Filipinos’ grocery buying behavior affected by food prices – study

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Information and data provider Nielsen founded that Filipinos change their grocery buying habits as food prices go up.

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In a statement, Nielsen Philippines Managing Director Stuart Jamieson said that consumers all over the world including Filipinos are affected with the rising of prices, therefore altering consumer’s spending habits and demands.

“Rising food prices impact nearly all consumers. Instead of using income to gauge spending habits, fast-moving consumer goods [FMCG] companies should look at consumer diversity, spending flexibility and the consumer demand landscape to have better understanding of buying potential and to accurately assess goods and services that can meet consumers’ needs,” Jamieson said.

The Nielsen study, titled Global Survey of Inflation, surveyed over 29,000 online respondents all over the world to find out grocery buying behavior amidst adjusting food prices.

When it comes to spending in the Philippines, Filipino consumers’ buying of new clothes and accessories is much affected with 61 percent impact when food prices increase, followed by other areas such as dining out (59 percent), snack food spending (51 percent), recreation and entertainment spending (41 percent), as well as traveling or vacation (38 percent).

Food price hikes won’t affect spending of meals at home (65 percent), education (64 percent), medical maintenance (63 percent), savings and investments (52 percent) and overall housing that includes rent and utilities (40 percent) among others.

Though food hikes are likely, the study showed that Filipinos would spend more on fish and seafood (20 percent), followed by fresh or frozen fruits consumption (16 percent) and buying of organic food (15 percent). Food price hikes would also result on less buying and consumption of meat and poultry, bread and bakery goods, and dairy products.

“Seven out of ten Filipinos would buy fewer products such as chips and other snack foods, carbonated beverages, candies, cookies and other sweets,” Nielsen added.

In terms of where they would purchase food products, Filipinos would be inclined to buy more on discounts as 36 percent said they would go for discount or dollar stores, 30 percent were to go to fresh food supermarkets, 25 percent said they shop at warehouse club stores while 20 percent would go to supermarkets and 18 percent to hypermarkets where prices rise.

Interesting enough, 32 percent of Filipino respondents also consider growing their own food and 15 percent would prefer their local “suki” stores.

“Marketers should take note that as consumers feel the pinch, they look for ways to stretch their budgets and find the best value for money. It is important for marketers to identify retailers that will satisfy the unique demands of consumers,” Jamieson said.

While Jamieson said that consumers find best value for every cent, the survey further showed that 40 percent of Filipinos would purchase “only-sale priced items.” Others said that would stock up and buy items when they are on sale with 36 percent, would buy larger pack sizes to save with 35 percent, and some of them would serve smaller food portions (20 percent).

Other 21 percent would consult the internet for sale deals while 20 percent said they would use social media to look for specials.

The Nielsen Global Survey study examined online respondents across 58 countries from February to March this year, coming up with the conclusion that 85 percent of the total 29,000 participants around the world are likely to be affected in terms of consumer spending and grocery habits because of rising food prices. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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