Retail

P.R. consumers spending 4% less on groceries this year

The Consumer X-Ray shows that 31 percent of consumers are buying less amounts and 26 percent are selecting products on sale. The Consumer X-Ray shows that 31 percent of consumers are buying less amounts and 26 percent are selecting products on sale.

Puerto Rico consumers are spending 4 percent less on their groceries this year, in comparison to 2015, to $406 from $425 a month, representing the lowest out-of-pocket expenditure registered in the last decade, this year’s edition of the Puerto Rico Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution Chamber’s Consumer X-Ray study revealed.

However, the study showed an increase in the average frequency of visits by the so-called “buying agent” to the supermarket, to 4.65 from 2.97.

“These data show that the consumer is buying what’s necessary, or what they can and in smaller quantities, making more trips to the point of sale,” said Mario Rodríguez, president of the Consumer X-Ray Committee. The full scope of the study will be unveiled June 16, during the trade group known as MIDA’s annual convention.

The data show that 31 percent of consumers are buying less amounts and 26 percent are selecting products on sale. Meanwhile, 21 percent buy cheaper brands and 18 percent have stopped buying certain types of products. In addition, consumers are planning their purchases more carefully. About 63 percent of respondents said they are planning their shopping trips better. This contrasts with 43 percent reflected in 2007.

Among the tools and habits that consumers are using to maximize their budget, are store flyers, manufacturers coupons, price matching, more planning and an increasingly weighted analysis, the study showed.

“The study presents great challenges for our industry. However, it helps us to know the reality of our consumers, presenting opportunities for us to react and innovate,” MIDA Executive Vice President Manuel Reyes-Alfonso said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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