Consumers feel the squeeze of inflation, over half have changed their purchasing behaviors

Inflation of all consumer goods increased 5.4% in June 2021 vs. the prior year (the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis), according to consumer price index data from the US Department of Labor​. 

For food items specifically, prices were +2.4% higher in June 2021 compared to June 2020. 

In recent quarterly earnings calls, major food manufacturers including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Conagra​, and Unilever​ have already reported introducing price increases across their portfolios to offset rising inflation and plan to continue to do so throughout the rest of the year.

Speaking during the company’s Q2 2021 earnings call last week, Unilever CFO Graeme Pitkethly said, “We are stepping up pricing in response to rising commodity inflation. Price growth in the month of June was 2.2%. We expect this acceleration to continue into the second half.”​​

Despite food inflation being lower than some other consumer industries (such as used cars and trucks which saw a 10.4% increase in June 2021 compared to the year prior), more than four in five (83%) said they have noticed price increases on their commonly-purchased groceries or household items, according to survey data from Numerator​ which polled 600 consumers in June – July 2021.

Two-thirds of consumers (66%) expect prices of groceries and household essentials to further increase in the next six months with 50% expecting a slight increase, and 16% expecting a significant increase in price.

“With this expectation for rising prices, consumers are growing increasingly concerned over the potential cost of everyday products and services in the months to come,”​ said Numerator. 

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