New IRI Consumer Connect Survey Finds Shoppers Feeling Optimistic About Personal Finances and Willing to Splurge

IRI Rolls Out New Consumer Connect Survey to Keep Finger on Pulse of
Shoppers’ Financial Outlooks and Purchasing Behaviors

CHICAGO & WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Building off the ever-popular IRI MarketPulse survey series,
IRI® announced today that it is introducing the new quarterly IRI
Consumer Connect
survey to gauge consumers’
financial confidence and understand how their financial situation is
impacting the way they shop for, purchase and consume consumer packaged
goods products. The inaugural Q1 2016 findings reveal that 67 percent of
consumers feel their financial health will improve in the next six
months, and this sunny outlook is giving consumers the confidence to
loosen their purse strings a bit and splurge.

These splurges are not impulse buys made on a whim. They are more about
making informed choices. For instance, 55 percent of these optimistic
shoppers say they will pay more for food and beverage solutions that
provide added benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as vitamins,
minerals and extra protein. And 55 percent also will pay more for
household cleaners made with environmentally friendly cleaners. In
addition, 36 percent are regularly buying premium-quality beauty
products, while 34 percent will pay more for environmentally friendly

“IRI’s new Consumer Connect survey provides invaluable perspectives on
the whys behind the buys,” said Susan Viamari, vice president, Thought
Leadership, IRI. “For more than five years, we monitored the behaviors
that U.S. shoppers were embracing to weather a long and drawn-out
financial storm. We are thrilled to now be looking through a sunnier
lens, providing CPG and health care retailers and manufacturers with
insights into the consumer mindset through the next phase of the
economic recovery.”

Omnichannel Shoppers Want the Extra Trimmings

The Consumer Connect survey also drills down to the reasons consumers
are choosing to shop in specific retail channels. Of course, common
features such as proximity, assortment and service will always play a
key role in channel selection. However, consumers also are saying the
following added frills are important or very important to their channel
selection decisions:

  • 59 percent want a good selection of prepared/easy-to-prepare meals
  • 53 percent desire a good selection of local/artisan food and beverage
  • 53 percent are looking for a variety of gourmet food and beverage
  • 48 percent seek technology that makes shopping more exciting
  • 32 percent look favorably on stores that offer online purchase options
    with in-store pickup

Shoppers Still Keeping the Budget in Check

While shoppers are making some splurges on specific products, they are
still looking to keep their budgets in check for those everyday pantry
items. For instance:

  • 60 percent buy bulk to get a lower price per serving/usage
  • 58 percent generally purchase the lowest-priced option when buying
  • 49 percent will buy over-the-counter medications other than their
    preferred brand because it’s on sale
  • 42 percent often select food and beverage products that aren’t their
    preferred brands because they have a coupon
  • 39 percent will buy beauty and personal care products other than their
    preferred brands because it’s on sale

Shopping With a Purpose

Consumers adopted many different shopping behaviors to make their
dollars stretch when the Great Recession began in the late 2000s. At the
top of this list is making preplanned and deliberate shopping trips to
save money. In fact, 82 percent of consumers still make a written
shopping list. But it doesn’t stop there. Consumers also are taking the
following measured steps to save a buck:

  • 75 percent buy private-label products to save money
  • 64 percent compare prices in circulars to find the lowest price on
    needed items
  • 52 percent visit multiple retailers to keep their grocery bill down
  • 51 percent compare prices on area retailers’ websites to find the
    lowest prices on needed items

“Today’s consumers are seasoned pros when it comes to shopping,” added
Viamari. “They’ve learned how to stretch a dollar by necessity and won’t
be giving up their conservative shopping behaviors even though they’re
feeling better about their financial health. Knowing your consumers
inside and out is the key to success for CPG retailers and
manufacturers. Consumers want a consistent and personalized experience.
Making a quick sale is nice, but that won’t drive consistent growth.
Building long-term relationships and loyalty is the best way to ensure
success that starts today and continues into tomorrow.”

About the IRI Consumer Connect Survey

The IRI Consumer Connect survey builds on the foundation set by the
MarketPulse survey series. With new survey results at the end of each
calendar quarter, this survey provides perspective around consumers’
financial mindsets as it directly relates to their strategies for
shopping for, purchasing and consuming CPG and health care products, as
well as insights around how emerging trends and technologies are
impacting the way they approach their grocery shopping experience. For
more information about customizing the research for a particular
category or industry, please contact

About the IRI Partner Ecosystem

IRI fundamentally believes that delivering differentiated growth for
clients requires deep, highly integrated partnering with a variety of
best-of-breed companies. As such, IRI works closely with a broad range
of industry leaders to create innovative joint solutions, services and
access to capabilities to help its clients more effectively compete in
their various markets and exceed their growth objectives. IRI is
committed to its partnership philosophy and continues to actively
enhance its ecosystem of partners through alliances, joint ventures,
acquisitions and affiliations. The IRI Partner Ecosystem includes such
companies as Adobe, The Boston Consulting Group, comScore, Experian,
GfK, Gigwalk, GuestMetrics, Ipsos, Kantar, MasterCard
Advisors, MaxPoint, Microsoft, Millward Brown Digital, Mu Sigma, Oracle,
SPINS, Univision 
and others.

About IRI

IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and
forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations,
retailers and media companies to grow their businesses. With the largest
repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all
integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI helps to
guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to
remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with
consumers and deliver market-leading growth. A confluence of major
external events — a revolution in consumer buying, big data coming into
its own, advanced analytics and automated consumer activation — is
leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries.
Ensure your business can leverage data at


Shelley Hughes