The Independent’s Playbook: Celebrate and Have a Good Springtime

April 13, 2022

By Jim Dudlicek, Director of Communications and External Affairs

The pandemic may not be officially over, with new variants still raising concerns. Yet even with lingering uncertainty, as well as rising food prices, consumers are saying they’re ready to host large gatherings again for the spring holidays, so independent grocers should be prepared to embrace this demand.

Progressive Grocer reports that despite record inflation, consumers – especially households with children – plan to celebrate this spring by hosting or attending larger holiday gatherings for Easter and Passover, according to market researcher IRI.

While 90% of surveyed consumers believe food prices are higher than they were last year, IRI reports, more people plan to host or attend a celebration with family members outside their household than in 2021.

Folks are ready and willing to spend more money, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be looking for bargains. Grocers are doing all they can to secure the best values, so consumers will appreciate any guidance in planning the best special-occasion meals they can afford.

From ingredients for scratch-made meals to heat-and-eat components from your deli, hot bar or café, shoppers will be looking for items in larger quantities. According to IRI, the foods traditionally associated with the spring holidays will be in highest demand in the coming weeks: ham, fresh fish, mackerel, leg of lamb and matzo.

Keep in mind that, after being more or less hunkered down for the past two years, folks may need to be reminded how to do the holidays up right.

As Joan Driggs, IRI’s VP of content and thought leadership, advises, “Retailers should increase merchandising to promote fresh ideas to a weary public. They should also take a tip from other holidays and promote gifting opportunities or ways to enhance entertainment uniquely as shoppers are anxious to celebrate.”