IRI Consumer Connect Survey Finds Consumers Expecting their Financial Health to Deteriorate, Regardless of Presidential Election Outcome

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Conservative Behaviors Are Prevalent Among Those Expecting Things to
Get Tighter

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–IRI® today announced the latest results from its IRI Consumer
Connect survey uncovering that nearly two-thirds of U.S.
consumers believe their financial health is poised to deteriorate in
2017 regardless of who wins the presidential election this year. In
contrast, consumers have been feeling a bit more optimistic about their
personal finances and putting the Great Recession behind them for the
past couple of years.

Overall, 64 percent of consumers believe their households’ financial
health will decline if Donald Trump is elected compared to 60 percent of
consumers if Hillary Clinton is elected. In addition, 36 percent believe
their households’ financial health will improve if Trump is elected
compared to 40 percent if Clinton is elected. To learn more about the
demographic breakdown of consumer sentiment regarding the presidential
election, click
here
for an IRI infographic.

“While Americans’ attitudes towards personal finances have improved in
recent years, this election process appears to signal a shift in
consumer sentiment,” said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought
Leadership for IRI. “However, the changing of the guard at the White
House always represents uncertainty, but this year close to 60 percent
of consumers feel that their financial health will deteriorate no matter
who is elected president. This will absolutely impact retailers and CPG
manufacturers, as they brace for a tightening of the purse strings.”

Feeling the Pinch

For years, IRI has been studying the types of trade-offs that consumers
make when they feel their budgets are being squeezed. Some behaviors,
such as list-making and shopping at multiple stores, become part of the
regular routine, even when finances are looking stable or are improving.
The following are shopping behaviors that consumers say they will be
adopting:

  • 62 percent of consumers who think their finances will decline say they
    will make written shopping lists, compared to 59 percent who think
    their finances will improve
  • 75 percent of consumers who think their finances will decline say they
    will buy needed items when they are on sale to save money, compared to
    54 percent who think their finances will improve
  • 62 percent of consumers who think their finances will decline say they
    will purchase private label products to save money, compared to 41
    percent who think their finances will improve
  • 48 percent of consumers who think their finances will decline say they
    will try new, lower-priced brands to save money, compared to 36
    percent who think their finances will improve
  • 38 percent of consumers who think their finances will decline will
    visit multiple retailers to keep the grocery bills down, compared to
    35 percent who think their finances will improve

Splurging on Indulgences

Consumers still want to treat themselves and will continue to splurge on
indulgences. Those with a sunnier outlook on their finances are looking
for stores that offer the following selection of luxuries:

  • 56 percent of consumers want gourmet food and beverages
  • 55 percent of consumers desire local/artisan food and beverages
  • 51 percent of consumers require prepared/easy-prep meal solutions
  • 51 percent of consumers fancy natural/organic food and beverages
  • 48 percent of consumers wish for technology that would make shopping
    the store more exciting
  • 39 percent of consumers would like the ability to purchase online and
    pick up in store

Focusing on the Young

During the Great Recession, younger consumers had the most pessimistic
outlook. However, the tide is definitely turning as the latest IRI
survey results found that younger consumers are now more optimistic than
older consumers about their personal finances in the next six months
prior to the inauguration of a new president. A full 78 percent of
consumers aged 18-34 and 69 percent aged 35-54 believe their households’
financial health will improve in the next six months, compared to 60
percent aged 55 and up.

  • 38 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 31 percent of 35- to
    54-year-olds are willing to pay more for food/beverages that are
    natural and organic compared to 21 percent of those aged 55 and up
  • 58 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 52 percent of 35- to
    54-year-olds are willing to pay more for OTC medications that treat
    multiple symptoms compared to 43 percent of those aged 55 and up

Still, these younger consumers are willing to make trade-offs to save
money. After all, they have come up in a very conservative place in time
and frugality is becoming programmed into their CPG shopping journey.

  • 53 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 51 percent of 35- to
    54-year-olds buy beauty products that are not their regular brands
    because they’re on sale compared to 40 percent of those aged of 55 and
    up.
  • 59 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 48 percent of 35- to
    54-year-olds buy food/beverage brands that are not their preferred
    brands because they have a coupon compared to 41 percent of those aged
    55 and up.
  • 54 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 46 percent of 35- to
    54-year-olds buy OTC medications that are not their preferred brands
    because they have a coupon compared to 36 percent of those aged 55 and
    up.

”When it comes to decoding the consumer mindset, there is perhaps
nothing more complicated than predicting how a significant transition,
such as electing a new president, will impact the way consumers feel and
behave,” concluded Viamari. “CPG manufacturers and retailers must be
more vigilant than ever as the torch is passed, and ready to respond in
real time to shifting attitudes that ripple through the marketplace.”

About the IRI Consumer Connect Survey

The IRI Consumer Connect™ survey is a new quarterly survey
designed to gauge consumers’ financial confidence and understand how
their financial situations are impacting the way they shop for, purchase
and consume CPG products. It is an online survey of more than 2,200
nationally representative respondents. The Q2 2016 survey was fielded
the first half of June. For more information about customizing the
research for a particular category or industry, please contact IRIMarketing@IRIworldwide.com.

About the IRI Partner Ecosystem

IRI fundamentally believes that delivering differentiated growth for
clients requires deep, highly integrated partnering with a variety of
best-of-breed companies. As such, IRI works closely with a broad range
of industry leaders to create innovative joint solutions, services and
access to capabilities to help its clients more effectively compete in
their various markets and exceed their growth objectives. IRI is
committed to its partnership philosophy and continues to actively
enhance its ecosystem of partners through alliances, joint ventures,
acquisitions and affiliations. The IRI Partner Ecosystem includes such
companies as The Boston Consulting Group, comScoreDatalogix (an
Oracle company), Experian, GfK, Intage, Ipsos, Kantar, MasterCard
Advisors
, MaxPoint, Millward Brown Digital, Oracle
Data Cloud
, RentrakSPINS, Univision and
others.

About IRI

IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market, consumer and media
exposure information, predictive analytics and the foresight that leads
to action. We go beyond the data to ignite extraordinary growth for our
clients in the CPG, retail and over-the-counter healthcare industries by
pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their
businesses. Move your business forward at www.IRIworldwide.com.

Contacts

IRI:
Shelley Hughes
E-mail: Shelley.Hughes@IRIworldwide.com
Phone:
+ 1 312.474.3675