Gas price shock has caused sales at gas-station convenience stores to
drop sharply, falling 6% in the first quarter of the year. The number of trips
to grocery and drug stores has also slipped, and even trips to warehouse clubs
have slowed. The big winners are SuperCenters, which have seen trips increase 5.7%
in the last six months.
Talk about a topsy-turvy world: A new study shows that consumers are reversing decades-long trends, shunning convenience and healthier foods in search of bargains.
For example, the IRI study, called “IRI
Times & Trends Special Report: Competing in a Transforming
Economy,” finds that 53% of consumers report that they are cooking from
scratch more now than they were six months ago. About 59% say they are
buying fewer single-serving products, and 55% say they are buying fewer
prepared meals, “marking a turning point in the convenience trend,”
says the report. And 52% say they are buying fewer organic products.