A Flatbush mother of five says that she shops in at least four stores each week. She says that she changed her shopping habits two years ago from shopping everything she needed in one store. In interviews with shoppers and retailers, it is becoming apparent that many kosher shoppers are returning to the days of dividing their shopping chores, only this time it is not necessarily the baker and the butcher but the Club store and large independent kosher stores that offer special discounts on specific items.
Even shoppers who have made the move to such high end stores as Pomegranate are also shopping other stores. The recession has changed the shopping patterns of shoppers everywhere.
A joint study released by Deloitte and Harrison Group found that 92% of people surveyed have changed their grocery shopping behavior in the last two years. In particular, 89% said they have become more resourceful while 84% say they are more precise when they shop.
Some kosher shoppers say that they are being more resourceful in planning their shopping, buying many items in bulk at a Club store and taking advantage of specials at such discount stores as the Kollel store. The Club stores have added many kosher products in the past two years.
One retailer told Kosher Today that the new shopping habits of kosher consumers has “created a price war where shoppers are actually comparing prices between stores.” He said that he knows that one of his shoppers has her husband shop at two different stores while she buys specific discounted items at his store. While the retailer hoped that these new shopping trends were recession related, he in the end was not so sure.
For manufacturers, the most disturbing aspect of new shopper surveys is that American shoppers are for the first time preferring generic items that are cheaper rather than brands.