Consumers relying less on credit for grocery purchases

Grocery shoppers have largely maintained their spending habits in recent months, but shifts in market conditions and payment trends have altered their service demands and expectations.

Grocery shoppers have largely maintained their spending habits in recent months, but shifts in market conditions and payment trends have altered their service demands and expectations, according to a new survey from Coinstar.

The report found 81 percent of consumers spent the same amount over the past three months than they did the three months before. However, they are relying on credit less and expecting improved customer service. Sixty-nine percent of consumers claim they rely on either cash of debti cards as their primary payment methods for groceries.

Nearly half of respondents also claim to be purchasing private label products to save money. Additionally, roughly two-thirds of respondents cite knowledgeable and friendly employees as constituting quality customer service.

"Grocers clearly have a tremendous opportunity to attract and build loyalty among shoppers this holiday season, by focusing on ways to increase the level of service, value and simplicity they can offer to customers," said Engle Saez, vice president of category management and consumer experience at Coinstar. "Retailers catering to the savvy shopper, through more options and flexibility, will position themselves for an advantage in today's competitive market."