Now that prices at the supermarket are almost as dismaying as those at the gas pump, consumers have a double incentive to economize in their grocery shopping. A BIGresearch report says 87 percent have "felt the impact" of price hikes for groceries. Among these people, 37 percent are buying more generic goods, matching the number who are looking more often for items on sale. Thirty-three percent are using coupons more.
Contrary to what you might guess, the same report finds no decline since last summer in the number of consumers who say they buy organic products at least occasionally. Among the 62 percent who said they do so, produce is the category in which they're most likely to make purchases (cited by 53 percent), followed by breads (33 percent), cereals (31 percent), dairy (30 percent) and juices (30 percent).
This doesn't necessarily mean they're patronizing pricey health-food stores. In fact, more people said they buy organics at Wal-Mart than at Whole Foods (10 percent vs. 7 percent).