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You may have a preferred brand that you can’t do without, or a favorite store you always shop. But those are likely the exceptions, not the rule. Couponers and savvy shoppers have long known that brand loyalty is not particularly good for your budget. And it seems that more shoppers are starting to agree.

A new report finds that the majority of grocery shoppers are loyal to one thing above all – savings. And whatever store or brand allows them to keep more of their own money, is most likely to get their business.

That insight is contained in the newest Grocery Shopper Insight Survey from marketing intelligence firm Market Track. It finds that 83% of us are creatures of habit, and usually buy our groceries at the same store every time we shop.

But we can be persuaded to change that pattern.

57% of those surveyed said price is the most important factor in deciding where to shop – ahead of overall quality, their loyalty to a particular retailer, or even how close they live to the store. And if the prices are better somewhere else, fully 79% of shoppers are willing to switch stores.

A similar percentage is willing to switch brands if the price is right. 74% say they will buy something other than the brand they usually buy, if a different brand is on sale.

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That said, it depends on what the product is.

We’re most likely to switch brands, or switch where we buy staple items, if the quality is the same no matter where we shop. So we’re deal hunters when it comes to produce, meat, eggs and bottled water. But we’re least likely to seek out bargains when it comes to buying baby food, diapers, cosmetics or pet products. In those cases, we have our favorites, and we’re sticking with them, no matter the price.

And that carries over into what we look for when reviewing our store’s circulars. When most coupon bloggers post their sneak peeks of weekly sales, they tend to emphasize the packaged goods, since those are the products that generally are sold at the deepest discounts, and have the coupons to match.

That’s great if you need to stock up on paper products, cereal or canned goods. But that’s not all we’re looking for. When reviewing weekly circulars, the Market Track survey says 42% of grocery shoppers are looking for deals on fresh meat. 22% are looking for sales on fruits and vegetables. And nothing else even came close – no other department in the store had a response rate over 10%.

So let’s put two and two together. If we’re willing to shop wherever the prices are best, and we’re most interested in good deals on fresh food – then the place with the best prices on good-quality meat and produce is most likely to get our business.

If you’ve ever complained that it’s too hard to find coupons or good deals on fresh food, Market Track researchers are listening. Now let’s just hope your stores are.

Photo by Anthony Albright

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