A Nielsen survey revealed that nearly half of U.S. consumers have cut spending because of escalating gas prices, which have crippled their purchasing power. Survey data showed consumers have made fewer shopping trips, dined out less and stayed home more often. The trend could provide CPG manufacturers and retailers opportunities for "direct-to-consumer" initiatives, private label or less-expensive branded products and at-home or at-work meals, according to Todd Hale of Consumer Shopping & Insights.

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