Food Purchases During the Great Recession

Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth – Nielsen Dataset Paper Series 1-008

46 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015 Last revised: 28 Aug 2016

See all articles by William Minseuk Cha

William Minseuk Cha

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Pradeep K. Chintagunta

University of Chicago

Sanjay K. Dhar

University of Chicago - Marketing Management

Date Written: July 3, 2015

Abstract

Using the Nielsen Homescan data, we describe what happened to household purchase behavior during the Great recession (Dec 2007-June 2009). Our specific objectives in this study are to understand how the recession impacted: households’ grocery spending in a broad cross-section of 31 food categories; prices paid and quantities bought by households in these categories; the types of outlets they made purchases in; the composition of the food basket in the choice of more expensive brands and less expensive brands and private label products; product volume purchased with retailer discounts and coupons; and, whether there were differences in these behaviors across different demographic groups. We find that during the recession, households purchased more in these food categories, and substituted to cheaper outlets and items sold on deal. However, contrary to expectations, we do not find evidence that the recession was the primary driver behind the increases in store brand share and coupon share observed during the recessionary period.

Suggested Citation

Cha, William Minseuk and Chintagunta, Pradeep K. and Dhar, Sanjay K., Food Purchases During the Great Recession (July 3, 2015). Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth – Nielsen Dataset Paper Series 1-008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2548758

William Minseuk Cha (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Pradeep K. Chintagunta

University of Chicago ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8015 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Sanjay K. Dhar

University of Chicago - Marketing Management ( email )

Rosenwald 331C
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3005 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

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