Fetch Rewards Report Finds Record-breaking Grocery Prices Are Changing How Consumers Shop

Staff Report

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Fetch Rewards, America's No. 1 consumer-rewards app, today announced the launch of the Fetch Price Index report. The first installment of the Fetch Price Index report, which will be released on a monthly basis, offers a unique, data-rich view into how increasing pricing is affecting shopping behavior. By analyzing a set of 375,000 shoppers and tracking 195 million in-store and e-commerce purchases over the last 24 months, this item-level view of shopper behavior captures, in real time, the true state of inflation and what it means for consumers, brands, and retailers.

Key findings from the first report, covering the month of May, include the fact that consumer prices for food, personal care, and household items are up 13.9% compared to a year ago, and inflation in these categories is rising at a higher rate than previously reported by officials.

"Inflation is having a huge impact across the board, and we're starting to see changes in consumer demand and purchasing behavior," said Wes Schroll, Fetch Rewards Founder and CEO. "Our mission at Fetch has always been twofold: give consumers a fun, easy way to save money on all their everyday purchases, and help brands connect with consumers in meaningful ways. With this new report, we aim to provide an additional resource for anyone looking to better understand what's happening in the market."

The Fetch Price Index report was created to provide further context to the findings that are published monthly in the The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index report. The most recent Consumer Price Index report found a 9.4% increase in the "food at home" index for the previous 12 months ending in April. Fetch analyzed a similar mix of products and found that average prices increased 10.2% over the same period. For the 12-month period ending in May, Fetch found a 13.9 percent increase. BLS will release its May CPI report on June 10, 2022.

CPI, which measures the average change over time in consumer prices paid by urban consumers, is the most widely used measure of inflation. Fetch is answering the call for a more modernized approach to calculating the impact of inflation without relying on field-generated data. For the CPI, price surveys involve collecting sample prices for about 94,000 items including commodities, services, and housing. About two-thirds of price collection is done by in-person visits to brick-and-mortar stores, and the remaining data are collected by phone, online, or via other sources.

Fetch Rewards is the nation's leading rewards app and allows consumers to earn rewards by submitting any receipt. Through the analysis of these receipts over time, Fetch was able to create this report in a way that directly reflects consumer purchases.

FPI findings in May:
Fetch found the first signs of declining consumer demand since the post-COVID recovery began, with the average number of units purchased per household dropping 9.6% year over year. Fetch also found that consumers are buying less per trip, but spending more. Interestingly, Fetch found that shopping trips per household increased slightly in May, despite record fuel prices.

"New highs in the Fetch Price Index are beginning to impact consumer demand, with continued decay in items purchased per trip and per household. We anticipate demand will continue to decline until prices stabilize or income increases," said Dhwani Worah Upadhyay, Marketing Analytics and Science lead at Fetch Rewards, who authored the report. "With federal policy and the macro landscape shifting, we look forward to using our data and insights to bring clarity to the changing consumer landscape."

The Fetch Price Index report will be published monthly on the Fetch Rewards blog, Unleashed.