SOURCE: MarketTools

June 17, 2008 08:30 ET

MarketTools Unveils Results of May/June 2008 Insight Report on American Spending

Survey of U.S. Adults Finds 64 Percent Limiting Spending and Modifying Shopping Behavior Amid Economic Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - MarketTools, the technology and solutions leader for online customer insights, today unveiled the results of its May/June 2008 Insight Report focused on American Spending. The nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. adults reveals that in the face of a clear economic downturn and nationwide financial concerns, 64 percent of all households have cut back on their spending in the past 12 months. These results extend across economic strata, with 54 percent of respondents with household incomes of $75,000 or more indicating that they have cut back on spending as well.

MarketTools further explores the areas/categories where Americans are cutting back the most and found that dining and entertainment are among the first activities to go when overall household spending is reduced. Specifically, the study revealed that in the past 12 months:

--  66 percent of all respondents have cut back on dining out. This trend
    applies even to affluent respondents -- 57 percent of those with household
    incomes of $75,000 plus say they have reduced expenditures on dining out.
--  61 percent of respondents have cut back on entertainment.
--  Other areas in which respondents have scaled back in light of the
    economy include clothing and accessories (57 percent), travel and vacations
    (54 percent), gifts (48 percent) and technology products (41 percent).
    

Despite economic pressures, consumers have actually increased their spending in certain categories during the last year. In particular, 24 percent of respondents indicate that they have increased spending on groceries and 16 percent have increased spending on prescription medications, both likely the result of an overall rise in national food and drug prices and not increased consumption.

MarketTools' research also found that many Americans have changed their grocery shopping behavior in the last year, changes that seem to be driven by economic concerns and tightening wallets. Top changes include a greater reliance on "store brands" instead of "name brands" (51 percent) and use of coupons more often than in the past (46 percent). Additional behavioral changes in grocery shopping include:

--  44 percent of all respondents are shopping less frequently or stocking
    up.
--  42 percent say they have switched to less expensive brands.
--  39 percent are shopping closer to home in order to save on gasoline.
--  35 percent are cooking more from scratch.
--  33 percent are buying more at discount outlets.
--  32 percent are buying more food to be used as leftovers.
    

Interestingly, while only 15 percent say they are shopping more at club stores, more affluent consumers are leading the way in this trend -- nearly 30 percent of those with annual household incomes of $75,000 plus say they are shopping more at club stores in the past year.

"Although nearly two-thirds of Americans say their households have cut back on spending overall in the last 12 months, these tough economic times offer unique opportunities for business leaders and marketers," said Beth Rounds, Senior Vice President of Research Solutions at MarketTools. "Companies truly willing to listen to their customers, understand how consumers are responding to and overcoming new budgetary pressures, and innovate on new ways to support and enhance these changing behaviors will have a true competitive advantage."

About MarketTools Insight Reports

MarketTools Insight Reports are regular reports of findings on topical, national issues of interest. Data is based on feedback from 1,000 online respondents drawn from ZoomPanel, MarketTools' proprietary online sample source of more than 2.5 million individuals who have been validated through MarketTools TrueSample™. Insight Report respondents are a nationally representative sampling of the U.S. adult population, age 18 years and over. The overall margin of error is +/- 3%.

Organizations interested in additional findings or a further breakdown of data from this month's Report can contact Schwartz Communications for MarketTools at: (415) 512-0770 or markettools@schwartz-pr.com.

About MarketTools

MarketTools is the defining provider of on-demand market research, giving companies and individuals the ability to continuously understand their target customers through innovative approaches based on advanced technology, research expertise, global market reach and an online panel community of more than 2.5 million individuals worldwide. Through Zoomerang™, the pioneer in online surveys, MarketTools provides the leading self-service platform and services for fast feedback. MarketTools' full range of research applications and services provide organizations -- from small businesses and non-profits to Fortune 500 companies -- with unique access to their target markets to uncover unmet needs, reduce time to market and capture market share. MarketTools is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and European headquarters in London. For more information, please visit: www.markettools.com

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