Cautious consumers, building buffers

19 February 2010 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Andrew Curry writes:

We’ve just published our latest report on the post-recession consumer,  and the headlines are that although people are still concerned about the state of the economy, and are behaving cautiously as a result, there is less panic about the economic outlook than was shown in our previous research. But this is partly because people have changed their behaviour – the UK savings rate is now 8% (it was close to zero for most of the last decade, and even negative in 2008). As Futures Company Director Fran Walton said at the client launch, “People are building a buffer for what might lay ahead for them.”

A couple of insights from particular sectors are striking. The first is that people seem to have changed their grocery shopping behaviour – the proportion agreeing that ‘I am shopping at several shops to get the best prices, rather than doing one big shop at the supermarket’ increased from 22% to 36% between January 2009 and November, when the field research was done for the latest report. And there’s evidence that people are looking to spend less when they go out. There’s a more detailed summary of the data in WARC (subscription required).

News of the client launch event turned up in an unlikely place – Claire Myerscough’s Media Week in Brand Republic. She works for News International, and this was her take on the research:

Learn that consumers are still less trusting, with 53% worried about the price of petrol and 43% planning to spend less over the next 12 months. The mood of uncertainty is in line with our research: things have improved since this time last year but we are not out of the woods yet.

The Reconstructed Consumer is available as a paid-for report. For more information please contact Jennifer Childs on 020 7966 1824.

Entry filed under: consumers, economics, research. Tags: , .

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The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.

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