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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural retailers well positioned to weather inflation

 Naturals shoppers tend to have a higher income and to spend less of their total earnings on food, suggesting that the naturals segment may be better positioned to weather the recent inflation spike than value-oriented mainstream stores. 

 Naturals shoppers tend to have a higher income and to spend less of their total earnings on food, suggesting that the naturals segment may be better positioned to weather the recent inflation spike than value-oriented mainstream stores.  “I think there’s more acceptance of higher prices with natural and organic consumers, who generally expect to pay a little more anyway,” said Mark Hamstra, retail and financial editor at Supermarket News, based in New York.  “But the naturals industry has worked hard to erase the image of being higher-priced, and this won’t help.”

            Higher prices may mean that potential new crossover shoppers decide to wait instead of switching to natural or organic options.  “These food price increases are coming in an already uncertain economy,” said John Gay, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association, based in Washington, D.C. “I don’t know what the impact of a sustained increase will be, but some potential naturals shoppers may say, ‘I can’t afford it right now; I’ll have to wait’.”

             

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