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Grocery Shoppers Look Forward to Holiday Season

More than 80 percent of grocery shoppers are excited for the holidays this year, according to a report from The Food Industry Association. The "U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, Holiday Season" report found that, despite concerns over high prices, shoppers are optimistic about their financial situations heading into the holidays.

Roughly 18 percent of consumers are planning a celebration with more people than usual for the December holidays, a signal of consumers' positive outlook.

“While consumers are understandably concerned about their finances amidst continued inflation heading into the holidays, shoppers are proving to be just as resilient when it comes to preparing for their holiday meal celebrations,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, in a statement. “From looking for deals, shopping around at different stores and cooking more meals at home, shoppers remain excited for the holidays despite planning to ‘make do with less’ this year.”

In general, cooking and eating out habits seem to be in flux going into the season. Cooking at home continues to be a key tactic used by shoppers to manage their expenses, with 31 percent saying they are preparing meals at home more often, and more than half planning to cook and eat more of their meals at home in the coming year. Alternatively, 60 percent of shoppers say they are eating out less, and only 14 percent indicate that they plan to dine out more in 2024. 

“Interestingly, while shoppers tell us they are saving money by going out to eat less, they are also taking advantage of expanded foodservice options at their local grocer. Shoppers are increasingly enjoying ‘hybrid’ meals that pair food made at home alongside semi- or fully-prepared items from the grocery store. This hybrid approach can offer shoppers tremendous value during this hectic season by offering convenience and affordability for any holiday meal celebration,” said Sarasin.

Grocery buying habits, too, seem to have shifted, finds the report: 20 percent of shoppers say they are buying more groceries to contain their food spending, which helps explain why the average weekly grocery spend per household is currently $155/week. While that is higher than the $148/week shoppers were spending last October, it is a decrease from the $164/week from February of this year.

Related: Retailers Tout Deep Thanksgiving Discounts; Sprouts Launches Instacart's FoodStorm