Inflation forces families to substitute products to maximize resources

The acceleration that inflation is showing has forced families in Mexico to make changes in their consumption patterns over those they had already made to adapt to confinement, consumer experts from NielsenIQ and Oracle Retail agreed.

There is growth in the purchase of self-service private label products and more frequent attendance at convenience stores, explained Yanira Reyes, NielsenIQ’s Customer Success leader.

The substitution of goods for lower-priced ones has accelerated, and in some cases they are restricting the purchase of products such as beauty products, he said.

According to the expert, consumers with less economic capacity go to convenience stores more times for fewer products, depending on the availability of their resources, since they no longer have enough to buy food for several days.

In addition, the vice president of sales at Oracle Retail for Latin America, Raúl Neto explains that after the pandemic the final consumer is more empowered, has less “money” and has become much more assertive in what he buys. They are assuming many of the typical consumer standards of crises, he stressed.

The Nielsen IQ specialist pointed out that the current behavior of consumers is very similar to what they assumed in the 2009 crisis.

Both experts agree that inflation is a global phenomenon, but the Oracle specialist clarifies that consumers in Brazil and Argentina are more used to dealing with it.

When you look at less economically and politically unstable countries, such as Mexico and Chile, it impacts them more, since they have had many decades, at least two, without experiencing these inflationary pressures, he said.

The specialist estimates that a year and a half of changes in the consumption pattern of Mexicans have been completed, as a result of the pandemic, the economic shock in companies, unemployment and the labor gap.

And since the end of last year, consumers have also had to tighten their belts, given the impact of inflation on their purchasing power.

Out of cart

The expert in consumer measurement says that all beauty products have been the most impacted with a drop in purchases, and they are the first ones that consumers tend to sacrifice when there is a general escalation in prices as they are not basic consumer goods.

He also reports that products more sensitive to the impact of prices are being replaced, such as oil, chlorines, cleaners and sweeteners.

Reyes maintains that consumers are now more aware of price changes and make more comparisons, look for promotions and when they find large sizes in the products they require, they prefer them.

Specifically, it considers that products that give an additional 15% away are more attractive, if they bring a sample of another, or favor higher volume purchases in self-service stores.

Will keep moving forward

The deputy governor of Banco de México, Jonathan Heath, recently explained that he is more concerned about underlying inflation, which has been rising for 12 months, since it saves 70% of what we consume.

Ve por Más senior analyst Marisol Huerta commented a few days ago that retailers are adapting to this decline in purchasing power.

They have already increased the offer of their own brand products that are usually cheaper and adjusted the presentations of the products so that they can buy the same brands at the same price as before.

“With rising inflation, you are buying fewer products with the same amount of money.”

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