… shoppers were buying fewer items… and switching from beef to pork…



Shoppers are buying less and switching to store brands, Kroger says


By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

June 16, 2022


New York (CNN Business) Decades-high inflation is changing US consumers' grocery habits.


Kroger, the nation's largest grocery store chain, said Thursday that budget-constrained shoppers were buying fewer items in stores, favoring Kroger's cheaper store brands instead of name brands, and switching from beef to pork.


"Rising inflation has consumers rethinking their shopping and eating habits," Kroger (KR) CEO Rodney McMullen said on a call with analysts. "We are seeing different shopping behaviors based on how individual customers are experiencing the current inflationary environment."


Kroger is the latest major chain to highlight consumer shifts in response to rising prices for food, gas, rent and other goods and services.


Record gas prices drove inflation to 8.6% for the 12 months ending in May, according to the latest Consumer Price Index, the government's main inflation measure. Prices for food purchased to eat at home rose 11.9%, the largest 12-month increase since 1979, with eggs up 32.2%, milk up 15.9% and poultry up 16.6%.


The typical US household is spending about $460 more every month than they did last year to purchase the same basket of goods and services, said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody's Analytics...


... Other discount chains also say they're attracting new customers seeking cheaper alternatives...