Study: Pricing on the Rise as Promotions Drop

From Store Brands, Nov. 16:

Nielsen’s latest inflation study found a drop in promotions being offered to shoppers on items inside the grocery store is the new normal, leading to higher prices in stores.

The study follows an August inflation study that saw consumers paying more than 4% on items for that summer month, year over year, and seeing a drop in promotions tied to products by more than 5%.

In October 2020, consumers paid 3.2% more for the same popular grocery items compared to a year ago, per Nielsen. In September it was 3.5% and 4.1% in August, establishing a new standard in pricing, according to the Chicago-based analysts. 

Nielsen also said by the end of October 2020, only 24.6% of units were sold on promotion, a 7% percent decline from a year ago. “This drop in promotional activity across the entire store means shoppers have less opportunity to purchase items on sale and save at the register,” a representative with Nielsen told Store Brands.

And the declines are occurring across departments: Grocery dipped nearly 11% in units sold on promotion since January; household care saw more than 13% of in-store units sold against promotion since January; meat products accelerated during the summer but products with promotional activity fell 3.4%; and frozen foods dropped by nearly 5%.

By comparison, the Department of Labor released its October Consumer Price Index saw food sales only rise .2% for the month. For all items, the index shows a rise in pricing by 1.2% looking at October 2020 compared to October 2019, in line with September numbers.