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Thirty-six Percent of U.S. Families Skipped Meals for Financial Reasons, dunnhumby Study Finds

Thirty-six percent of U.S. families have skipped meals due to financial reasons in the last year according to the fourth wave of the dunnhumby Consumer Trends Tracker (CTT) released today. The quarterly study ? now completing its first year ? also found that 30% of Americans across all age groups reported they have skipped meals. In addition, 18-34-year-olds and 35-44-year-olds have the highest rate of skipping meals out of any age group at 38% and 37% respectively.

dunnhumby also found that 62% of Americans would have a hard time paying an unexpected expense of $400. That percentage jumps to 75% for consumers between the ages of 18-44 and to 72% for families. The CTT is part of The dunnhumby Quarterly, a strategic market analysis of key retail themes. More than 8,000 U.S. consumers were surveyed online across the four waves of this study.

"Over this year-long study, we have seen a very troubling trend of nearly a third of all Americans and nearly 40% of younger Americans, skipping meals due to financial concerns. And wave after wave, our research has also shown that 18-44-year-olds are at the epicenter of a food and financial insecurity crisis that shows no signs of abating," said Matt O'Grady, President of Americas for dunnhumby. "Unfortunately, the reduction in SNAP benefits, and the stubbornness of center store prices, there doesn't appear to be relief in the short term for many Americans, especially those who are already food and financially insecure."

Key findings from the study:

"Consumers changing shopping behavior over the last year, including cross-shopping stores for the best prices and increasing their omnichannel behavior, has created an opportunity for retailers and brands to engage with them in a personalized way. Those that are able to understand the different needs of their customers and then deliver to them tailored content and offers that provide real value, will be able to drive customer loyalty in a very competitive environment," said O'Grady.


After the first year of the CTT, dunnhumby has interviewed 8,012 consumers, representative of the U.S. grocery shopper nationwide. The online interviews for Wave 1 were conducted in April 2022, Wave 2 in July 2022, Wave 3 in November 2022, and Wave 4 in April 2023. Approximately 2000 individuals were interviewed for each wave of the study.

The CTT study is designed to uncover shopper needs, perceptions and behavior over time, and to complement dunnhumby's Retailer Preference Index which measures the strength of retailers' customer value proposition. The latest CTT study can be accessed today.

About dunnhumby

dunnhumby is the global leader in Customer Data Science, empowering businesses everywhere to compete and thrive in the modern data-driven economy. We always put the Customer First. Our mission: to enable businesses to grow and reimagine themselves by becoming advocates and champions for their Customers. With deep heritage and expertise in retail ? one of the world's most competitive markets, with a deluge of multi-dimensional data ? dunnhumby today enables businesses all over the world, across industries, to be Customer First.

The dunnhumby Customer Data Science Platform is our unique mix of technology, software and consulting, enabling businesses to increase revenue and profits by delivering exceptional experiences for their Customers ? in-store, offline and online. dunnhumby employs nearly 2,500 experts in offices throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas working for transformative, iconic brands such as Tesco, Coca-Cola, Meijer, Procter & Gamble and Metro.

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