Blog: Dean BestBe prepared – for frugality

Dean Best | 16 June 2009

As well as the debate over green shoots, there has been a lot of discussion on how consumers will behave when the recovery finally comes.

Some, like Aldi UK and Ireland boss Paul Foley and Poundland chief Jim McCarthy, reckon this recession has changed consumer behaviour for good.

Others believe that some UK consumers could revert back to something approaching a 21st century Loadsamoney.

Now, there is an element of bullishness in statement from the discounters that some of the changes to the way consumers perceive value will be “sticky”. After the growth of the last 12 months, the discounters will be keeping everything crossed that shoppers will still like a bargain.

Industry watches Rabobank certainly think so. In a new podcast, Rabobank ponders whether the way consumer habits have changed will be “secular”  – i.e. permanent – or cyclical.

Rabobank's Stephen Rannekleiv has put his chips on the former. “An economic recovery would help loosen up consumer purse strings, and improve some of the consumer confidence levels.

“But many of the pre-recession spending trends were  somewhat unsustainable. I think consumers have changed. "Food and beverage companies need to be prepared for more frugality from consumers.”

The question is: are you?


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