Chicago -- In its most recent consumer sentiment and behavior survey, Technomic, the Chicago-based food industry research firm, found that 84% of consumers believe that grocery prices have risen in the past three months and 62% believe restaurant prices have risen.
Bob Goldin, executive VP of Technomic, believes that the rapid rise in gas prices, now at record highs, has raised consumer sensitivity to price increases in grocery stores and restaurants.
"Consumers are deeply concerned about the price of gas, which they expect to continue to rise,” he said. “As a result, they are very likely to reduce their spending on groceries and restaurant meals and increase their reliance on coupons and deals."
Goldin also notes that consumers have become more aware of total value, of which package/portion size is a key component, and urges food and restaurant companies to be sensitive to the risks of downsizing.