US consumers will remain “frugal” even after the recession ends, research from analysts IRI has claimed.


Changes to shopping habits during the downturn, with, for example, consumers looking for more value are becoming the “new normal”, IRI said.


“Consumer attitudes and behaviours are changing quickly,” said IRI consulting and innovation president Thom Blischok. “We are now entering the fourth stage of this economic sea change where shoppers are adapting to their trade offs, such as choosing private label over national brands and shopping in different stores where they believe they get more value for their dollars.”


In the IRI report, dubbed Price Promotion & Merchandising: The Reinvention of CPG Marketing, the analysts said brand-owners must realise consumers are now making shopping decisions at home as they look to spread out their income.


This trend is part of the reason why the perception of value in consumers’ minds is “morphing”, Blischok said.


“While brand name is still a consideration factor, it’s only important to about one-quarter of shoppers,” Blischok claimed. “Consumer packaged goods marketers cannot assume their brand name is enough to ensure shopper loyalty. Consumer packaged goods marketing strategies must continually evolve and address shifts in shopper behaviours and tout clear, persuasive messages based on the shopper’s changing definition of value.”