McKinsey Poll: Most Europeans Switching to Cheaper Goods in Wake of Higher Inflation

© AFP 2023 / TOLGA AKMENA customer carries their shopping in a basket at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Walthamstow, east London on February 13, 2022
A customer carries their shopping in a basket at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Walthamstow, east London on February 13, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.05.2022
French media outlet BFM TV has reported that consumers are opting for cut-price options in groceries, such as buying discounted products close to their expiring date, in an attempt to cope with budget-disrupting inflation.
Europeans in five countries have altered their consumer patterns in the face of decades-high inflation levels which have become their top concern, according to a poll conducted by McKinsey and Company.
After polling 1,000 respondents in each of the five countries investigated in mid-April, McKinsey concluded that nine out of ten people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK perceived the rising prices, especially in essential categories.
The poll also concluded that the costs of energy, utilities, transport, fuel, food and other essentials have risen for at least 60% of respondents, while buying groceries has become more difficult for 94% of people. Around 60% reported observing "significant" increases in prices.
"The latest Consumer Pulse survey shows that, across Europe, people have changed their habits and adopted new behaviour in response to new stressors", the report explained.
As a result of growing prices, consumers have taken steps to accommodate the new reality, including cutting back spending on luxury items and switching to different brands and retailers, McKinsey reported. At least 50% of consumers said they either turned to private-label shopping or consider doing so to save on certain goods. Around 33% changed their preferences of stores and retailers, switching mostly to discounters.
Slightly more than one third of respondents also said they were looking for new, cheaper brands of the goods they buy. Household products, snacks, and frozen food are among the categories where most Europeans were looking for better deals.
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In a separate report, BFM TV has said that French citizens were increasingly interested in buying food close to its expiry date because it is normally sold at a discount. Several interviewees lamented that they were no longer able to buy some of the finer goods due to growing prices. They noted that discounts on expiring food allowed them to treat themselves to better wares from time to time, without damaging their personal budgets too much.
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