Shoppers continue to alter purchasing behaviors amid rising gas prices

NEW YORK — Nearly 80% of consumers plan to offset the burden of rising gas prices by altering their shopping behaviors, according to new research.

The survey, conducted by market information leader TNS, also found that 35% of respondents are removing items from their "typical" grocery list to save money. Other ways consumers are saving money is by purchasing private-label items over national brands (30%) and opting to shop at discount outlets over traditional retail outlets (32%).

"Shoppers are careful and watchful of their money, and given the overall level of uncertainty about the economy, it's not a surprise to us to see consumers rein in their spending on groceries," TNS SVP Dan Boehm said. "Even as gas prices have receded a little from their peak, our research shows consumers are adjusting their grocery shopping patterns to manage a more uncertain conservative purchase environment. More than ever, grocery retailers need to clearly articulate the value proposition they give their shoppers as shoppers make fewer trips per week, buy less and look for discounts."

For marketers of private-label products, Boehm noted that consumers see private label as having an "equal or greater value" and suggested that based on these behaviors, marketers should "communicate why their brands are superior. They should continue to make being visible in the store a priority," he said.