Those are findings from new research by The Nielsen Group, released during the group's Consumer 360 Conference last week in Phoenix.
A study focused specifically on alcoholic beverages showed that more than 80% of consumers say they're spending the same amounts on beer, wine and spirits as a year ago.
"Alcoholic beverages are withstanding the economic slowdown very well, compared to other categories that might be considered indulgent or non-necessities," summed up Danny Brager, VP/client service, beverage alcohol for The Nielsen Company. "To many consumers, alcoholic beverages are an affordable luxury."
Because most consumers who normally visit fine-dining restaurants, fast casual and casual restaurants, nightclubs, casinos/resorts, indoor/outdoor events and bars indicate that they are now engaging less often in these activities compared to a year ago (between about 50% and 70% indicated this, depending on the activity), these venues may be more susceptible to experiencing some drop-off in sales of alcoholic beverages, Nielsen noted. However, liquor sales in grocery, mass merchandise, convenience, liquor and other stores should benefit from the stay-at-home trend.
Meanwhile, a Nielsen analysis of macroeconomic variables, historical trends and consumer behavior using its new Predictive Macroeconomic Impact System concludes that in addition to pasta/pasta sauces and beer, seafood and candy are among the most recession-impervious product categories.
On the flip side, categories most vulnerable in recessions include carbonated beverages, eggs, cups/plates, food prep/storage products and tobacco.
During a poor economy, manufacturers and retailers can benefit by further increasing the exposure of products that are recession-proof, and implementing strategies that "shore up performance and maintain traction" for categories likely to be most affected, pointed out Eugene Roytburg, managing director, The Nielsen Company.