High gas prices affect foodservice, retail purchases

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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NEW YORK – A new poll from Harris Interactive revealed that high gas prices are forcing US consumers to cut back on more than just driving.

More than half of Americans who own a vehicle (55 percent) said they have cut back on products and/or services to pay for increased gas prices, according to the Harris Poll. The poll surveyed adults online between March 12 and March 19.

Dining out took the biggest hit, with 75 percent of consumers surveyed saying they have cut back on meals outside the home. A significant number of consumers (38 percent) said they have cut back on groceries, according to the poll.

"Nearly nine-out-of-ten Americans say they expect gas prices to be higher as we enter the summer months” said Sarah Simmons, senior research executive and thought leader. “The impact of this kind of price hike is nearly universal and is felt every time an individual gets behind the wheel of their car.
“Many Americans are making real cuts in their budget to accommodate for the increase in the gas they need to get to work, school and run essential errands," Simmons added. "As our national economy starts to show signs of recovery, Americans are looking to the federal government and to the oil and natural gas industry to help find workable solutions."

When asked who can best stop rising gas prices, 37 percent of respondents said the oil and gas industry while 30 percent said they believe the federal government can best stop rising gasoline prices. Only 14 percent surveyed said consumers could stop rising gas prices, while 4 percent said state and local governments can. Two percent said the automotive industry could best stop rising gas prices, and 14 percent said there were unsure.

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