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More Americans purchasing private-label products

 

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- There are always small ways to save a little bit of money. Bringing lunch to work or skipping the morning latte may not feel significant, but the cost savings add up over the long run. A number of Americans have done or considered doing these things and have cut back in other small ways to save money. Over the past six months, three in five U.S. adults (62 percent) have purchased more generic brands and over two in five (45 percent) are brown-bagging lunch instead of purchasing it. In June, similar numbers of Americans said they were buying generic (65 percent) and brown-bagging it (48 percent).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Some of the other findings of this Harris Poll include:

·         Just over one-third of Americans are going to the hairstylist or barber less often (37 percent) and have switched to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water (37 percent);

·         In not so good news for the print industry, over one-quarter of adults (27 percent) have cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions while 17 percent have cancelled a newspaper subscription. In addition, one in ten Americans have considered cancelling a newspaper subscription (11 percent) or a magazine subscription (8 percent);

·         One in five Americans have stopped purchasing coffee in the morning (22 percent) and cut down on dry cleaning (21 percent) while 14 percent have begun carpooling or using mass transit;

·         Media, entertainment and communication may also have taken a hit in these economic times—one in five U.S. adults have cancelled or cut back on cable television service (22 percent), just under one in five have changed or cancelled cell phone service (17 percent) or cancelled their landline service and are only using their cell phone (17 percent);

·         Breaking this down by generation, Gen Xers (those 34-45) are most likely to purchase generic brands (70 percent), brown bag their lunch (62 percent), go to the hair dresser less often (45 percent) and to have stopped purchasing coffee in the morning (35 percent); and,

·         Echo Boomers (those 18-33) are much less likely to have cancelled a magazine subscription (18 percent) compared to at least three in ten of all the other generations who say they have done this, although Echo Boomers are more likely to have cancelled their landline phone service (22 percent).

So What?

Financial advisors often recommend cutting back on the little things to save a lot of money. And, in the current economic climate, Americans seem to be listening and saying no to these items. The question is: what happens when the economy turns around? Do they come back and buy that latte in the morning again or has this become a true behavior change?

TABLE 1

SPENDING/SAVINGS OVER PAST SIX MONTHS

"Have you done or considered doing any of the following over the past six months in order to save money?"

Base: All U.S. adults

 

 

Have

Done

Have

Considered

Have not

done nor

considered

Not

applicable

 

Purchasing more generic brands

 percent

62

12

17

9

 

Brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it

 percent

45

9

13

32

 

Going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often

 percent

37

8

30

25

 

Switched to refillable water bottle instead of purchasing bottle of water

 percent

37

10

22

31

 

Cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions

 percent

27

8

23

41

 

Cancelled or cut back cable television service

 percent

22

21

40

17

 

Stopped purchasing coffee in the morning

 percent

22

7

19

53

 

Cut down on dry cleaning

 percent

21

5

16

57

 

Changed or cancelled cell phone service

 percent

17

16

50

17

 

Cancelled landline phone service and only using cell phone

 percent

17

21

40

21

 

Cancelled a newspaper subscription

 percent

17

11

27

44

 

Begun carpooling or using mass transit

 percent

14

9

31

45

 

Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 2

SPENDING/SAVINGS OVER PAST SIX MONTHS – TREND OF HAVE DONE

"Have you done or considered doing any of the following over the past six months in order to save money?"

Percent saying "Have done"

Base: All U.S. adults

 

 

June

2009

Oct.

2009

Feb.

2010

June

2010

Oct

2010

 

Purchasing more generic brands

 percent

62

64

63

65

62

 

Brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it

 percent

47

47

45

48

45

 

Going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often

 percent

36

43

39

38

37

 

Switched to refillable water bottle instead of purchasing bottle of water

 percent

33

36

34

39

37

 

Cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions

 percent

29

34

33

31

27

 

Cancelled or cut back cable television service

 percent

19

21

22

22

22

 

Stopped purchasing coffee in the morning

 percent

15

20

21

22

22

 

Cut down on dry cleaning

 percent

20

22

22

24

21

 

Changed or cancelled cell phone service

 percent

14

15

17

15

17

 

Cancelled landline phone service and only using cell phone

 percent

11

12

15

15

17

 

Cancelled a newspaper subscription

 percent

17

21

19

17

17

 

Begun carpooling or using mass transit

 percent

13

14

14

12

14

 

Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 3

SPENDING/SAVINGS OVER PAST SIX MONTHS – BY GENERATION

"Have you done or considered doing any of the following over the past six months in order to save money?"

Percent saying "Have done"

Base: All U.S. adults

 

 

Total

Generation

 

Echo

Boomers

(18-33)

Gen. X

(34-45)

Baby

Boomers

(46-64)

Matures

(65+)

 

 percent

 percent

 percent

 percent

 percent

 

Purchasing more generic brands

62

57

70

62

59

 

Brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it

45

46

62

50

14

 

Going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often

37

35

45

39

27

 

Switched to refillable water bottle instead of purchasing bottle of water

37

36

44

36

31

 

Cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions

27

18

30

31

33

 

Cancelled or cut back cable television service

22

22

28

23

13

 

Stopped purchasing coffee in the morning

22

19

35

20

12

 

Cut down on dry cleaning

21

15

23

26

19

 

Changed or cancelled cell phone service

17

16

21

19

10

 

Cancelled landline phone service and only using cell phone

17

22

22

15

6

 

Cancelled a newspaper subscription

17

13

22

19

12

 

Begun carpooling or using mass transit

14

18

20

12

5

 

Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 11 to 18, 2010 among 3,084 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38848

Q741

The Harris Poll® #139, November 11, 2010

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

 

 

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