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Building Brands For The Discerning Consumer

2013 American Pantry Study

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Download the the 2013 APS brochure.  |  Learn about the survey respondents.

In 2010, Deloitte embarked upon the inaugural American Pantry Study to understand the recession‘s impact on shoppers. This research included the role of brands, shopper channel planning and brand trade-off strategies. In 2011, we looked further into consumer behaviors and attitudes to reveal the continued impact of the recession. The 2013 report builds on the two previous studies, with a deep analysis of the reasons people buy, the risks they are managing and the ways the consumer has changed.

The 2013 American Pantry Study

Cautious. Frugal. Resourceful. This is the behavior reflected in the 2013 American Pantry Study, as we see the recessionary mindset continue for the third consecutive year. 

Six key implications from the U.S Consumer:

  1. Frugal attitudes and behaviors have endured 
    • The impact  of the recession lingers and resourcefulness lives on 
  2. Selective loyalty among “Must Have Brands” 
    • Another year of declining “Must Have Brand” ratings
  3. Consumers find value in store brands 
    • Store brands are entrenched in the pantry and are expanding into more product categories
  4. Cross-channel shopping 
    • This remains the norm for food, beverage, and household goods 
  5. Consumers are embracing technology 
    • Millennials lead, but interest among Baby Boomers is rising 
  6. Unmet demand for shopping online 
    • Significant unmet demand for on-line purchase for in-store pickup, as well as, at-home delivery

In our survey we found more careful consumers who feel smarter about the way they shop and are remorseful about their prior wastefulness.  They do not feel they are sacrificing as they continue to look for ways to save.  Loyalty card usage is growing and coupons do not appear to be a catalyst for unplanned purchases.

Consumers are re-evaluating their brand relationships leading to continual brand erosion since 2010. However, brand loyalty dynamics vary by product category.  In nearly every category, some brands became stronger amidst overall category “Must Have Brand” rating decline, defining the characteristics that hold the key to remain tops on consumers' lists. 

"I am spending more appropriately now. The recession has been a valuable learning experience."

- Consumer interviewee

Shopping across channels has remained the norm for food, beverage and household goods, introducing consumers to a broad range of pack sizes, offering sizes to save.  Throughout the shopping process, smartphones’ relevance in-store and away-from-store is increasing. Simultaneously, there is an unmet demand for online shopping in these categories. Millenials lead the way in embracing technology, but the Baby Boomers have shown a rapid increase in their interest.

An in depth look at the product categories, brands and consumer preferences detailed in this study will provide critical information for taking the right next steps.

Contact us for more information: usconsumerprodleader@deloitte.com 

Media resources: Download brief  | View press release

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As used in this document, ‘Deloitte’ means Deloitte LLP (and its subsidiaries). Please see  www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

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