Consumers, looking for deals and discounts on food purchases, are increasingly turning to online tools to save money on groceries, according to Deloitte's "2010 Consumer Food Safety Survey."
The survey found 33 percent of respondents subscribed to receive emails/recipes/coupons directly from food manufacturers/companies, a six percent increase from 2008.
"Today's consumers are using the Internet to not just find nutritional and safety information about the foods they eat, but to find the best value for their dollar," said Pat Conroy, Deloitte's vice chairman and consumer products practice leader in the United States.
"If this recession has taught us anything, it's that we don't necessarily have to sacrifice quality for value -- and consumers have figured that out by uncovering the wealth of product promotions and other marketing messages available on the Internet."
Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents said they have visited a food company's website to find out product information and 23 percent also made a food purchase because of something they read online.
Mobile devices are beginning to play a key role for shoppers as they make decisions on what to buy, especially when it comes to price. Seven percent of people who took the survey have used their mobile/smart phone while in a store for a variety of reasons including to: compare prices (53 percent), get/redeem coupons/discounts (44 percent) and obtain nutritional information (28 percent).
When it comes to bargain hunting, men are more aggressive and, use their mobile devices more than women, to compare prices (59 percent to 49 percent) and obtain/redeem coupons/discounts (53 percent to 38 percent). Women, on the other hand, are more focused on using their mobile devices for receiving further nutritional information (36 percent to 18 percent).
"In today's economy, consumers believe that they can get quality products without paying higher prices, whether that's from store brands or national brands," said Conroy.
"Consumers realize their shopping choices have expanded giving them the ability to be more selective about their purchases based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to, quality, quantity, taste, and of course, value. The question companies are asking now is, 'Will this more critical eye towards purchasing be the new norm or just a passing result of the economic downturn?'"