Survey Finds Fewer Drinking, Eating Out

  • May 13, 2009
The Nielsen Company's new U.S. consumer survey shows that 56% of consumers eat dinner at home more often than before the downturn and nearly the same percentage are eating dinner less often at restaurants. More than one-third report going to bars or clubs less often.

"While alcoholic beverages are sometimes thought to be 'recession proof', we're seeing significant evidence of changes in consumers' dining and buying habits," said Danny Brager, vice president, group client director of Beverage Alcohol at The Nielsen Company, in a release.

"Consumers are clearly focused on value and, in many cases, altering their shopping behavior in order to get the most for their money. It remains to be seen if these changes are temporary or exactly how long the 'economic hangover' will last once we come out of recession."

The firm says consumers are buying larger package sizes and more products made in the U.S.A., purchasing more locally made products, and taking less of an "experimental" approach by buying more "tried and true" products rather than risk their dollars on something new.



Beer, wine and spirits consumers are bargain-hunting, with 50% looking for deals by comparing shelf prices, waiting for a sale and taking advantage of other special offers. Also, per Nielsen, trading down is more prevalent among wine consumers, with 24% of them choosing less expensive drinks and a fairly equal number (about one-third) of beer, wine and spirits consumers ordering fewer drinks.

Spending on alcoholic beverages is expected to be more restrained, according to Nielsen's research. More than 75% of consumers say either when out or at home, they are not planning to change their spending habits when the recession lifts. When economic conditions do improve, approximately 24% say they would increase spending on wine, 21% say they would increase spending on spirits and 18% say that they would increase spending on beer.

Next story loading loading..