American consumers are getting grumpy about constantly rising prices for everyday household items, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey released on Tuesday. Satisfaction for non-durable goods has deteriorated across the board in the last year for food (including meat, cheese, cereal, soft drinks and beer), cleaning products, personal care products (toothpaste, soap and shampoo), apparel and shoes.
“These are the products we buy all the time, so the price increases are front and center and it erodes satisfaction,” said ACSI director David VanAmburg. “We respond by either continuing to purchase the same brand products that we know and love and we’re slightly less satisfied, or we switch to cheaper products that cost less, but may be of lower quality.” Nestle and Mars were the only large food companies to have better customer satisfaction scores this year. Industry leaders H.J. Heinz and Hershey were unchanged. When it comes to non-durable items, price is a top priority for many shoppers. VanAmburg says companies that can play the price game effectively right now, have a big opportunity to win market share.
-- Herb Weisbaum