Acosta Shopper Study Anticipates Growth in Grocery Spending for 2015 Holiday Season

New Research Unveils Shopper Respondents’ Plans for Holiday Meal Preparation

Infographic of Acosta December 2015 Shopper Study. (Graphic: Business Wire)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--()--‘Tis the season to be shopping, and a new study from Acosta — a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry — shows 57 percent of shoppers who were surveyed plan to spend more on groceries during the 2015 holiday season, as compared to last year.

Acosta’s shopper survey, conducted in early December, showed 72 percent of respondents will be hosting a meal or party for family/friends during the December holidays through New Year’s Day. Sixty-eight percent of those shoppers indicated their holiday meal/party shopping is typically “planned,” meaning they will shop one to two weeks prior to the event, while 32 percent expect to shop for their holiday event the week of the meal/party.

“The growth in grocery spending this holiday season is encouraging for brands and retailers alike, as many experts anticipated this Christmas being a soft one across the board,” said Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President at Acosta. “With shoppers planning to try new recipes and incorporate prepared foods into their menus, providing easy solutions for shoppers will be key to finishing the year strong.”

New Recipes

Sixty-eight percent of respondents plan on preparing a new recipe during the holiday season, driven by younger shoppers and shoppers with kids. These shoppers indicated a variety of sources for their new recipe ideas, including:

  • Food/recipe websites (44 percent)
  • Magazines/newspapers (43 percent)
  • Family/friends (33 percent)
  • Social media (33 percent)
  • Restaurant dishes (30 percent)
  • Grocery stores (28 percent)
  • Cooking classes/lessons (26 percent)

Prepared Foods

Seventy-seven percent of shopper respondents indicated they plan to buy prepared food solutions from the grocery store to help with their holiday meals/parties. Some of the most popular prepared items respondents plan to buy include:

  • Store bakery-prepared pie/dessert (54 percent)
  • Side dish (34 percent)
  • Party tray, such as meats/cheese, vegetables/fruit or crackers/dip (29 percent)

Name Brand vs. Private Label

Shoppers report placing more value on name-brand goods during the holiday season. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they typically buy more name brands in place of private labels this time of the year, while the same amount said they typically buy better name-brand items this time of year.

A Look Back at Thanksgiving

Acosta’s study also surveyed how shoppers celebrated Thanksgiving last month, with 93 percent of respondents celebrating the holiday.

  • Fifty-two percent of all respondents reported spending more than $75 on groceries for the meal; 24 percent spent more than $100.
  • Sixty-nine percent indicated using prepared foods solutions from the grocery store to help with their Thanksgiving Day meal, such as a complete meal kit/package, a prepared side dish, or bakery-prepared pie/desserts or breads/rolls.
  • Fifteen percent of shoppers indicated they skipped the traditional turkey and enjoyed an “all vegetarian meal.”

This research was completed using Acosta’s custom shopper community panel as an online survey in December of 2015. To access other Acosta research and insight reports, as well as actionable solutions for brands and retailers, visit

About Acosta

Acosta is the sales and marketing powerhouse behind most of the trusted brands seen in stores every day. The company provides a range of outsourced sales, marketing and retail merchandising services throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more than 85 years, Acosta has led the industry in helping consumer packaged goods companies move products off shelves and into shoppers’ baskets. For more information, visit


Vault Communications for Acosta
Allie Artur, 610-455-2760

Release Summary

New research from Acosta unveils shopper respondents’ plans for 2015 holiday meal preparation.


Vault Communications for Acosta
Allie Artur, 610-455-2760