Survey reports big rise in consumer confidence

Chicago -- Consumer confidence rose significantly in the first quarter of 2014, according to a MarketPulse survey from IRI. All age groups are reporting a more positive outlook — especially Millennials. A distressed consumer segment since the economic downturn began, this age group is showing the greatest rise in confidence.

“The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership at IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.”

The survey also touched on shopping strategies: consumers continue to remain comfortable with shopping patterns they adopted during the downturn. Seventy percent of consumers make a shopping list before they even step foot inside a store, and 75% make their purchasing decisions before entering. IRI noted that these figures haven't shifted since 2011.

Since 19% of all consumers (and 26% of Millennials) have trouble affording groceries, shoppers are still on the lookout for a good deal. Thirty-three percent of all consumers and 40% of Millennials buy more than one-half of their goods "on deal."

How are they getting the deals? It should come as no surprise that consumers are flocking to the Internet to scope things out:

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from retailers' websites;

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from a manufacturer's website;

•Twenty-five percent of consumers research products on website;

•Ninteen percent go to online deal sites like Groupon and SmartSource; and

•Eleven percent head over to social media platforms like Twitter to get coupons.


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