What to expect from consumer shopping habits this holiday season? 84.51° shares research

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Getty Images - Drazen_
Image Credit: Getty Images - Drazen_

Related tags 84.51 holidays consumer behavior

Consumers are readying their wallets for increases in grocery bills due to the holiday season, as inflation concerns decrease slightly, 84.51° shared in a recent whitepaper.

Shoppers' concerns about inflation are still high, with 65% of consumers questioned in an April 84.51° Real Time Insights Survey saying they are still highly concerned, though this percentage is the lowest since October 2022. Additionally, 45% of consumer think that inflation will impact their discretionary spending, and 38% say it will greatly impact their plans for going out to eat.

Consumers set to enjoy the holiday, despite inflation

Despite feeling the inflationary pressures, consumers tend to splurge during the holiday, and regardless of income level, they spend more on groceries in December, 84.51° reported. According to a May 2023 84.51° survey, 25% of consumers are planning to splurge on appetizers, 42% on desserts, and 12% on non-alcoholic beverages.  

When it comes to what's going in shopping carts, consumers tend to stick to products that they are familiar with during the holiday season. In a May holiday survey, 84.51° found that 73% of consumers will purchase similar products to what they normally buy during the holiday season, with 14% buying less expensive items, and 13% buying more premium products. 

When it comes to what consumers will be serving up for their festive meal, spiral hams, king crabs, and bone-in turkey breast were the most popular choices, according to Kroger sales in December. Additionally, in-shell nuts, sweet breads, and fruit trays were the most popular side dishes, and egg nogs and boiled custards, cooking chocolates, and refrigerated candy were the top desserts.  

When it comes to holiday staples, more consumers prefer to make mashed potatoes, cookies, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and gravy from scratch compared to box alternatives, conversely, consumers are planning to buy stuffing, pies, and cranberry sauces prepared, canned, or boxed.

For mashed potatoes, 77% of consumers said they'll make them from scratch, 19% said they'll buy a boxed, canned, or prepared option, and 4% said they were unsure what they'd buy. This is in contrast with cranberry sauce where 18% of consumers said they'll make it from scratch, 54% canned, and 28% were unsure. 

How omnichannel will factor into this year’s holiday season

Consumers are also likely to shop mostly in-store, though with the help of digital tools. In 2023, 93% of consumers are planning to shop for holiday groceries, up a percentage from last year. Additionally, omnichannel shopping experience​ will be more prevalent with 36% of consumers using online for pickup and 24% using online for delivery, compared to 32% and 22% in 2022, respectively. 

Across the board, consumers are expected to use online pickup and deliver more for the 2023 holiday season, with 22% of consumers saying they'd buy appetizers through both channels, 24% for beverages, and 15% for fresh fruit and vegetables, compared to 15%, 17%, and 11% in 2022, respectively. 

Related topics Retail & shopper insights

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