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Online grocery inflation outpaces other retail

CHICAGO, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released its latest inflation insights to measure the impact of rising prices, with added context by consumer ethnicity, generation, income level, and urbanicity.

Weekly data updates include price tracking based on verified consumer purchase data, and consumer sentiment based on an ongoing survey of 10,000+ consumers. Overall, grocery prices continue to climb, particularly online and in dollar stores. As inflation becomes more widespread, most ethnicities and generations are now similarly impacted.

Sector Level Findings:

  • Grocery prices continue to climb. For the four-week period ending May 1, grocery prices were up 12.4% vs. YA, a rate that has steadily increased from approximately +7-8% at the beginning of the year.
  • Health & beauty prices remain elevated but show signs of stabilization. Health & beauty prices were up 8.4% vs. YA, down from early 2022 levels but above early 2021 inflation rates.
  • Household items inflation climbs back toward February peaks. Prices for household items were up 13.8% vs. YA, a rate that is up from prior weeks but down slightly from its highest point (+14.4%) in mid-February.

Grocery Inflation Findings:

  • Online grocery inflation spikes to overtake the dollar channel. For the four-week period ending May 1, grocery inflation in the online channel passed the dollar channel (+17.2% vs. YA and +16.2% vs. YA, respectively), growing steadily since fall 2021. Throughout 2022, both online and dollar channels have been significantly more affected than food, mass, and club channels.
  • Club stores are the least impacted by grocery inflation. Grocery prices in the club channel are up 7.6% vs YA, less than half of that seen in the online and dollar channels.
  • Consumers across rural, urban and suburban markets are now similarly impacted. Suburban consumers were paying more for grocery items for most of 2022, but the gap narrowed recently, with suburban, urban and rural consumers experiencing similar rates of inflation (+12.6%, +12.3%, +12.3%, respectively).
  • Black consumers’ inflation rates have overtaken those of Asian consumers. Black consumers saw an increase in grocery prices, up 13.9% vs. YA, for the week ending May 1. Previously, Asian consumers saw the highest inflation rates of any ethnicity.
  • Gen Z is most impacted, but other generations are catching up. Gen Z saw a grocery inflation rate of +13.6% for the four-week period ending May 1, followed by Gen X (+12.7%), Millennials (+12.2%), and Boomers+ (+11.9%).

Consumer Sentiment Findings:

  • Suburban consumers report the most positive financial outlook, but the gap is narrowing. In summer 2021, suburban households were significantly more likely than urban consumers to have a positive financial outlook (a gap of 11 points). By May 2022, that gap had closed to two points.
  • Black consumers’ financial confidence spiked to more than half of consumers. In early May, 50.6% of Black consumers reported a positive financial outlook, nearly closing the gap with White / Caucasian consumers (52.6%) for the first time.
  • One quarter of Gen X consumers say they do not have spare cash, the highest of any generation. Gen X passed Millennials and Gen Z consumers for the first time this year, with 25.3% reporting that they do not have extra funds available. On average, Gen X is also the least likely to put extra funds into savings and the most likely to pay down debts.
  • Asian and Black consumers are the most likely to invest spare cash. About one in five Asian (20.9%) and Black (19.8%) consumers say they would invest extra funds, compared to 12.8% of White / Caucasian consumers.
  • Travel intentions plateau after an early spring spike. As of early May, 26.7% of consumers said they would use extra funds for vacations or travel, following spikes in early March (likely due in part to seasonality). Suburban consumers are the most likely to say they will use extra cash for traveling (27.9%), followed by urban (26.8%), and rural consumers (25%).

Methodology: Percent changes in Numerator’s Price Pulse are calculated at a category level. Average price per item within a category is based on verified purchase data from over 100,000 Numerator panelists, and the average price from the past four weeks is compared versus the same period one year ago. The Price Pulse includes a cross-channel view of prices, as well as channel-specific views and cuts by consumer demographic groups. Numerator’s Financial Outlook Tracker leverages an ongoing survey that collects approximately 10,000 responses from active shoppers each week. Consumers are asked to rate their current financial situation in addition to sharing spending intentions. The tracker has additional breakouts by ethnicity, generation, income level, and urbanicity.

About Numerator:

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research. Numerator blends first-party data from over 1 million US households with advanced technology to provide unparalleled 360-degree consumer understanding for the market research industry that has been slow to change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 2,000 employees worldwide. The majority of Fortune 100 companies are Numerator clients,