Consumers may be eating more at home, but when they do go out many are opting for so-called fast-casual restaurants -- the kind of place where they walk up to order and pay but the food is brought to their table. The benefit, of course, is to save money, as most are priced between fast-feeders such as Burger King and casual-dining chains such as Applebee's -- and there's no tip necessary.
Tag: trading down
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a recession juggernaut, but not just because it's cheap. Sales of PBR are up an astounding 25% this year, according to Information Resources Inc. And while cheaper beers -- a group within which PBR has long been something of a mascot -- are outperforming their more expensive peers as consumers look for low-cost options these days, there's clearly more than pricing at work here.
Oh, it's so nice to be right. When market researcher Mintel released its list of leading consumer prognostication late last year, it knew that financial worries would drag consumers' emotions down for much of the year, and put the spotlight on trading down and switching brands. But now that its data from the first six months of the year is available, the company has taken another look at its forecast, and says that while people "still feel pessimistic," there's plenty of evidence that they are lightening their mood as often as possible.
Millions of Americans have trimmed expenses because they have had their jobs or hours cut, or fear they will. But a subset of savers are reducing costs not just with purpose, but with relish. These are the gleefully frugal.