Rising Food, Gas Prices Remain Top Concern for Americans

81% of consumers have changed the way they shop to manage expenses.

July 29, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Fifty-three percent of Americans believe the nation is in a recession, according to NielsenIQ data, and rising food prices and gas prices are the top concerns for Americans (38% and 22%), respectively.

Additionally, gas prices are rerouting consumers’ shopping habits, with NielsenIQ reporting that 34% are driving less; 25% are shopping online; and 24% are shopping closer to home. When NielsenIQ asked those surveyed how concerned they would be if prices were to increase on everyday items over the next 12 months, 97% said yes, and 45% would be extremely concerned.

The survey also found that given the choice, consumers would prefer a size option to deal with rising prices, with 28% of those surveyed preferring that manufacturers offer an economy size for lower cost of use, while 19% would want them to maintain the same product and quality and increase the price.

“For many consumers, the last two years have been a rollercoaster of changed circumstance; stability and spending ability,” said Nicole Corbett, global thought leadership, NielsenIQ. “But as we start to ‘live with COVID’ and its many guises, consumers will approach 2022 with a new mindset reflective of their new adjusted realities. What was important to them in the past is not necessarily relevant now and in future.”

NielsenIQ also found that 81% of consumers have changed the way they shop to manage expenses. The most popular savings strategy is to stock up when their preferred items are on sale (50%). On average, consumers are implementing 4.6 strategies to save money. The top five ways are stock-up when on sale (50%), use coupons (42%), seek out stores with lower prices (38%), buy store brands (37%) and only buy the essentials (31%).

Also, most Americans fear disruption and uncertainty will continue beyond 2022, especially economic hardship, with 59% believed the U.S. won’t be free from economic hardship and rising prices until at least 2023 and beyond. Fifty-three percent believe that supply disruptions will continue through 2023 and beyond.