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Recovery is still some ways down the road, Cross–Industry Research Report

TrendsSpotting.com finding says, consumer’s confidence still low, consumers taking extra caution before buying into media and political reports.
TrendsSpotting has captured the consumers’ shopping behavior indications for 2009: Food & Drinks Media & Automobiles Education Communications Recession Trends
  1. Food Consumption of consumers eat dinner at home more often 56% than before the downturn & nearly the same percentage are eating dinner less often at restaurants. More than one-third (37%) of consumers surveyed report going to bars or clubs less often.
  2. Buying Habits • A greater tendency to buy larger package sizes (42%) • Buying more U.S. products (28%) • Purchasing more locally made products (25%) • Known products (23%) versus experimenting with new ones • Private label food (7.4% increase in sales).
  3. Restaurant Traffic 2.6% Decline in total US restaurant industry traffic for 09 spring quarter versus the same quarter last year
  4. Restaurant Traffic Household with kids, cut back their visits to all segments of restaurants • Over 50% of industry’s decline traced to fewer supper visits from parties with kids. • Traffic was down 2% at quick service restaurants. • Casual dining declined 4% and midscale was down 6%.
  5. Coffee Purchase 83% of American consumers drink coffee more at home ( up 5 points from a year ago). Coffee consumption pattern did not change as 54% drink coffee daily.
  6. Alcohol 50% of American consumers are actively seeking out best deals. 24% of wine consumers choose less expensive drinks. One third of beer, wine and spirits consumers order fewer drinks.
  7. Pet Foods And Veterinary Services 22% of American put a high priority on pets compared to Canadians (17%), French (15%) and Italians (12%). The pet industry is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year - 1.3% more than in 2008.
  8. Home Broadband home broadband adoption, is up from 55% in 2008. 63% 34% of home broadband users said they subscribed to a service that gave them faster access speeds, an increase from 29% in 2008. A growing share of broadband subscribers pay for premium service that gives them faster speeds. . They are also paying more for the extra speed than they did a year ago .
  9. Cell Phone Services of cell phone users (19% of all adults) report that in 22% the past year they have cancelled or cut back cell phone service. Cell phone users are economizing on service plans.85% of adults report to have cell phone service, up from 77% at the end of 2007.
  10. Smart phone ownership continues to rise, with 37% of respondents now reporting they own a smart phone. 14.4% say they plan on buying a smart phone in the next 90 days, the highest percentage ever recorded in a ChangeWave survey.
  11. Cable TV Services 22% of US adults have cancelled or cut back cable TV service in the last year. More than a quarter of consumers plan to reduce or cancel their satellite or cable TV subscriptions, according to the research, up from 15% six months ago.
  12.  Video Games Drop to $863 million in video games sales were registered in May from the same period a year ago. 23% Sales of hardware (consoles and hand-held devices) dropped 30% while sales of software fell 17%, to $449 million. In June - domestic retail sales of hardware and software fell 31% - the largest monthly drop since September 2000.
  13. Americans' dependence on the 20% family car remains strong (88% rate an automobile as a necessity) - 2009 auto sales are expected to decline by 20.5 percent, or 10.5 million vehicles.
  14. Hybrid Cars On February 2009, only 15,144 hybrids sold nationwide, down almost two-thirds from April 08, when the segment's sales peaked and gas averaged $3.57 a gallon.
  15.  Education Planning of high school guidance counselors saw an increase 71% in the number of students who this year chose less- expensive colleges over their "dream school."
  16. About the report: Food & Drinks Media & Automobiles Education Communications 50 pages detailed report across 8 industries Over 50 consumer studies and web metric trends analyses

Conclusions: TrendsSpotting finds that contrary to some optimistic public statements, for the majority of industries, recovery is still some ways down the road. After initially cutting back across the board, consumers have reassessed their personal situation and begun to employ a new set of priorities. They are checking out private labels and, if found satisfying, they will become loyal to them. Consumers aren’t sacrificing electronics, but are reconsidering their options. Recovery will bring a new age of consumers, much more aware of their expenses and their priorities. Consumers will not revert to their previous habits as those were proven to be unsound. Recovery will come from markets matching consumers’ new priorities.

John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.

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