April 16 - Four years after the official end of recession, 94 percent of Americans are spending as little as possible, according to a Deloitte study. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Four years after the official end of the recession, 94 percent of Americans are still counting pennies when it comes to shelling out on household and grocery items, and they plan on staying that way even if the economy perks up. The findings come from Deloitte's 2013 American Pantry Study, which also shows that people are very resourceful and precise in what they buy. Many replace pricey national brands with cheaper store brands, and only a few plan to switch back. Also, many more are using coupons. What is first and foremost apparent from this year's survey, everyone is looking for a better deal, and that right now generally trumps overall brand loyalty. But there are select brands that maintain consumer loyalty. The study also points to a massive, unmet demand for online shopping for food, drinks and household goods: according to survey takers, Americans would gladly save time by ordering things like frozen pizza, juice, and laundry soap online, under the condition that the products are reasonably priced and delivered fast. But, surprisingly, not many companies can offer that. Amazon, Google and Wal-Mart are either rolling out such services in a limited fashion or are trying out same-day delivery options.