New Better Homes and Gardens Study Looks Inside Today's Budget-Friendly Kitchen

Apr 06, 2009, 16:31 ET from Better Homes and Gardens

Rising Food Costs Lead Women to Eat at Home, Stock Up and Cut Back

NEW YORK, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Better Homes and Gardens today announced findings from a nationwide survey conducted among more than 2,100 women that takes a comprehensive look at women's motivations, attitudes and behaviors relating to food.

The below findings from The Food Factor: How America Cooks, Eats and Shops* reveal how women are saving money in the kitchen and at the store in the face of rising food costs and a weak economy.

"If there is one universal concern we found in the study, it is related to rising food costs," says Gayle Butler, Editor-in-Chief, Better Homes and Gardens. "With the American women's average grocery bill nearly 50% higher than two years ago, the downturn in the economy has had a direct - and immediate - impact on how she puts dinner on the table."

Key Findings:

  • The vast majority (95%) of women are "very/somewhat concerned" about the cost of food today.
  • As a result of the increase in food prices, 71% of women are stocking up on bargains; 66% are eating out less often; and 63% are comparing food prices at the same store more carefully.
  • When selecting a brand of food to buy, 79% of women indicated "value for the money" as an important factor, followed by past experience/familiarity with the brand (62%) and consistent quality (51%).
  • Roughly 8 in 10 women (83%) try to save money by preparing meals regularly and say that the cost of food is affecting the meals they cook (77%).
  • Approximately 3 out of 4 women are eating at home primarily to cut back on spending (76%) and restaurant expenses (73%).
  • 6 in 10 women (60%) are still shopping each week at their regular supermarket, followed by superstores/supercenters (20%) and discount supermarkets (10%). In deciding where to shop, product choice/selection and physical store attributes (79%) have a great deal of influence. For 68% of women, store services/programs are also important.
  • To economize, most women (54%) freeze foods and cook in batches (21%). They are also cutting back on certain foods including baked goods and desserts (52%), convenience foods (48%), wine/alcohol (37%) and gourmet oils (36%).
  • In addition, more than half (56%) of all women are buying more store-brand/private label brand foods for their cost/value (94%), improved quality (48%), greater trust in the quality (32%) and wider variety (30%).
  • 1 out of 3 (33%) women report buying a new food because they have a coupon for it. 28% had a store sample and 25% wanted to experiment/taste. Other motivators were that the items were budget-friendly (23%) or recommended by a friend/relative (20%).
  • 64% of women are more concerned about wasting food than they were two years ago.
  • On average, women spend $105/week on groceries - $34 more than they did two years ago. As a result, 84% have changed their buying habits, 83% have cut back/limited food purchases, and 70% have switched stores.

* Please credit all data to Better Homes and Gardens "The Food Factor" survey.

"The Food Factor: How America Cooks, Eats and Shops" is an online survey sent to BHG readers and a national sample of women 18+. Fieldwork: July 30 - August 1, 2008. Results based on 2,151 respondents. Maximum margin of error for the qualified sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

SOURCE Better Homes and Gardens