IRI Research: Consumers Will Bring Back Spring Holiday Gatherings Despite Inflation

The Spring holidays will be back in 2022. Consumers will host or attend larger gatherings this spring holiday season, especially households with children, but know they will spend more due to inflation and will be looking for deals, according to new Spring Holidays 2022 research from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).

For this new research, IRI tracked price activity on a representative range of food and beverage products and surveyed shoppers on their observations regarding prices and their plans for the 2022 spring holiday season, according to a press release.

The resulting insights will enable retailers and manufacturers to make better decisions about merchandising, promotional activity, and other variables to enhance the shopper experience and drive growth and profitability.

“As COVID-19’s omicron variant waned in February, Americans once again dramatically increased their out-of-home activities”

“This report provides an outlook for spring holidays based on recent consumer behavior and past Easter and Passover trends. Retailers should increase merchandising to promote fresh ideas to a weary public. They should also take a tip from other holidays and promote gifting opportunities or ways to enhance entertainment uniquely as shoppers are anxious to celebrate,” said Joan Driggs, vice president, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI.

Related Article: Online Grocery Sales Reach $8.7 Billion on February, Up Nearly 9% Versus Prior Year

Specific findings of IRI consumer research revealed:

  • 90% of surveyed consumers feel the cost of food is higher than last year
  • 30% of consumers will prepare a special meal just for themselves or their families, down from 38% in 2021
  • More consumers report they’ll host or attend a meal with extended family who do not live in their household or will travel out of state to attend a celebration in 2022 compared to 2021
  • 26% of shoppers expect to pay much or some more for their spring holiday gatherings than they did last year

The trends IRI has noticed in food and beverage prices include:

  • Price increases in the top 25 edible categories versus one year ago range from 26.3% for powdered milk to 13.8% for shelf-stable spaghetti/Italian sauce.
  • Weakening unit demand will lead retailers to increase promotion investments.
  • Increasing price inflation and price sensitivity will lead consumers to more aggressively shop on deals.

Implications for Springtime

While the retail and CPG industry’s spring plans are in place, there’s ample opportunity to leverage merchandising and targeted social and digital communications: promote fresh ideas for entertainment and recognize that spring is a time of renewal.

Reinforce the trend of holidays as home-centric with entertaining ideas for all. Retailers should increase merchandising to promote fresh ideas. Take a tip from other holidays and promote gifting opportunities or ways to enhance entertainment because shoppers are enthusiastic about celebrating in person.

Inflation will be a big factor in 2022, and shoppers will look for deals. Promote essentials along with holiday mainstays.