Consumers are cutting back on spending and prioritizing value, according to new research from Rabobank using data from Earnest Research. In September, transactions at grocery stores were down 2% YoY. Meanwhile, discount grocers and warehouse clubs were the only retailer subcategories to experience growth compared to the first six months of 2022.
The dollar value of the average transaction was also down (1.2%), which Rabobank attributes to consumers purchasing lower-priced items, cutting items from their shopping lists, and buying smaller sizes. This is in direct contrast to what would be expected due to inflation. “Higher prices typically mean higher average transactions, but the current rate at which consumers are cutting spending is more than offsetting these hire prices,” the report says.
Online grocery stores were the only retail subcategory that saw an increase in average transaction size in Q3 compared to Q2. However, the order frequency has been dropping steadily since April.
Restaurant transactions and spending per transaction also declined in Q3.