According to data reported in the April Consumer Food Insights the dollar general stores report, a market for expanded grocery selection at dollar stores potentially exists, especially with consumers who live less than 10 minutes away.
Survey-Based Report Assessing Food Behaviors and Consumer Trends
The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses food spending at dollar general stores, consumer satisfaction and values, support of agricultural and food policies, and trust in information sources. Purdue experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the United States.
Food Behaviors and Selection at Dollar Stores
April’s report assesses differences in food behaviors by food security status rather than demographics. The information includes the first questions Centre researchers have asked about consumer behavior and food selection at dollar general stores.
Food Choices and Shopping Habits at Dollar Stores
What foods are Americans buying at dollar general stores? More than half of Americans have recently shopped at a dollar store,” said Jayson Lusk, the head and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue, who leads the center. “When it comes to food, many of these purchases are snack items. If consumers pick up more food at a dollar store, they typically buy canned or frozen foods since these are the easiest options for dollar stores to stock.”
Potential for an Expanded Food Selection and Accessibility
While only a tiny percentage of consumers shop for groceries at dollar general stores, there could be a market for an expanded food selection since 50% of those surveyed reported that a full-service grocery would be a draw. “Plus, nearly 60% of consumers say that they live within 10 minutes of a dollar store, which has the potential for capitalizing on access issues,” Lusk said.
Food Spending and Consumer Confidence
In the food spending category, the slow easing of food inflation continues. The dollar general stores Data from this summer’s reports will provide a helpful picture of consumers’ behavior. “If people go out and spend more at bars and restaurants, as one would expect, then we could say that consumers are feeling fairly confident,” Lusk said. If food-away-from-home spending does not increase in our data, especially as food-away-from-home inflation continues to pick up according to official measures, we might have some questions.
Lacking pre-January 2022 survey data, the Purdue researchers cannot compare current responses to times of low inflation. Even so, Lusk said, “It seems that consumers have some degree of elevated inflation baked into their expectations with their 4.3% estimation of future inflation at dollar general stores.”
Additional key results include the following: • Total food spending is up 7% from last year, while consumers similarly estimate annual food inflation to be about 7%. • Vegetables and fruits are the most popular organic items in dollar general stores, but less than a third of consumers often or always choose organic.
Differences Between Food-Secure and Food-Insecure Households
The food behaviors of food-secure and -insecure households differ relatively little on many common shopping choices at dollar general stores. Still, it is essential to recognize the differences between the families, said Sam Polzin, a food and agriculture survey scientist for the center and co-author of the report.
Challenges and Behaviors of Food-Insecure Households
Those facing deficient food security are in a more precarious place,” Polzin said. “Over 40% rely on food aid, and over 80