Press Releases

New IRI Consumer Connect Survey Finds Shoppers Feeling Optimistic About Personal Finances and Willing to Splurge

CHICAGO and WASHINGTON, D.C. — April 18, 2016 — Building off the ever-popular IRI MarketPulse™ survey series, IRI® announced today that it is introducing the new quarterly IRI Consumer Connect™ survey to gauge consumers’ financial confidence and understand how their financial situation is impacting the way they shop for, purchase and consume consumer packaged goods products. The inaugural Q1 2016 findings reveal that 67 percent of consumers feel their financial health will improve in the next six months, and this sunny outlook is giving consumers the confidence to loosen their purse strings a bit and splurge.

These splurges are not impulse buys made on a whim. They are more about making informed choices. For instance, 55 percent of these optimistic shoppers say they will pay more for food and beverage solutions that provide added benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as vitamins, minerals and extra protein. And 55 percent also will pay more for household cleaners made with environmentally friendly cleaners. In addition, 36 percent are regularly buying premium-quality beauty products, while 34 percent will pay more for environmentally friendly packaging.

“IRI’s new Consumer Connect survey provides invaluable perspectives on the whys behind the buys,” said Susan Viamari, vice president, Thought Leadership, IRI. “For more than five years, we monitored the behaviors that U.S. shoppers were embracing to weather a long and drawn-out financial storm. We are thrilled to now be looking through a sunnier lens, providing CPG and health care retailers and manufacturers with insights into the consumer mindset through the next phase of the economic recovery.”

Omnichannel Shoppers Want the Extra Trimmings
The Consumer Connect survey also drills down to the reasons consumers are choosing to shop in specific retail channels. Of course, common features such as proximity, assortment and service will always play a key role in channel selection. However, consumers also are saying the following added frills are important or very important to their channel selection decisions:

  • 59 percent want a good selection of prepared/easy-to-prepare meals
  • 53 percent desire a good selection of local/artisan food and beverage options
  • 53 percent are looking for a variety of gourmet food and beverage options
  • 48 percent seek technology that makes shopping more exciting
  • 32 percent look favorably on stores that offer online purchase options with in-store pickup

Shoppers Still Keeping the Budget in Check
While shoppers are making some splurges on specific products, they are still looking to keep their budgets in check for those everyday pantry items. For instance:

  • 60 percent buy bulk to get a lower price per serving/usage
  • 58 percent generally purchase the lowest-priced option when buying groceries
  • 49 percent will buy over-the-counter medications other than their preferred brand because it’s on sale
  • 42 percent often select food and beverage products that aren’t their preferred brands because they have a coupon
  • 39 percent will buy beauty and personal care products other than their preferred brands because it’s on sale

Shopping With a Purpose
Consumers adopted many different shopping behaviors to make their dollars stretch when the Great Recession began in the late 2000s. At the top of this list is making preplanned and deliberate shopping trips to save money. In fact, 82 percent of consumers still make a written shopping list. But it doesn’t stop there. Consumers also are taking the following measured steps to save a buck:

  • 75 percent buy private-label products to save money
  • 64 percent compare prices in circulars to find the lowest price on needed items
  • 52 percent visit multiple retailers to keep their grocery bill down
  • 51 percent compare prices on area retailers’ websites to find the lowest prices on needed items

“Today’s consumers are seasoned pros when it comes to shopping,” added Viamari. “They’ve learned how to stretch a dollar by necessity and won’t be giving up their conservative shopping behaviors even though they’re feeling better about their financial health. Knowing your consumers inside and out is the key to success for CPG retailers and manufacturers. Consumers want a consistent and personalized experience. Making a quick sale is nice, but that won’t drive consistent growth. Building long-term relationships and loyalty is the best way to ensure success that starts today and continues into tomorrow.”  

About the IRI Consumer Connect Survey
The IRI Consumer Connect survey builds on the foundation set by the MarketPulse survey series. With new survey results at the end of each calendar quarter, this survey provides perspective around consumers’ financial mindsets as it directly relates to their strategies for shopping for, purchasing and consuming CPG and health care products, as well as insights around how emerging trends and technologies are impacting the way they approach their grocery shopping experience. For more information about customizing the research for a particular category or industry, please contact

About the IRI Partner Ecosystem 
IRI fundamentally believes that delivering differentiated growth for clients requires deep, highly integrated partnering with a variety of best-of-breed companies. As such, IRI works closely with a broad range of industry leaders to create innovative joint solutions, services and access to capabilities to help its clients more effectively compete in their various markets and exceed their growth objectives. IRI is committed to its partnership philosophy and continues to actively enhance its ecosystem of partners through alliances, joint ventures, acquisitions and affiliations. The IRI Partner Ecosystem includes such companies as Adobe, The Boston Consulting Group, comScore, Experian, GfK, Gigwalk, GuestMetrics, Ipsos, Kantar, MasterCard Advisors, MaxPoint, Microsoft, Millward Brown Digital, Mu Sigma, Oracle, SPINS, Univision and others.

About IRI
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers and media companies to grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an
on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI helps to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver market-leading growth. A confluence of major external events — a revolution in consumer buying, big data coming into its own, advanced analytics and automated consumer activation — is leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries. Ensure your business can leverage data at


IRI Contact:
Shelley Hughes
Phone: +1 312.474.3675

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