Consumer Attitudes During a Recession

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During recessionary periods, individuals aren't able to spend as much money on high-tech gadgets or big-ticket items, such as cars or high end electronics; instead, people tend to put their dollars toward necessities, such as food or utilities. In addition, according to a McGraw-Hill study of advertising performance, companies that can afford to advertise will win consumers at the local markets, regardless of brand name recognition pre-recession, making them strong contenders for your portfolio. According to a McGraw-Hill study of advertising performance, "business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-82 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth both during the recession and for the following three years than those that eliminated or decreased advertising" ("When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Ramp Up," San Diego Daily Transcript, May 2001). In addition. MarketSense compared 101 household name brands during the recessionary period 1989-1991. Jell-O, Crisco, Hellman's, Green Giant and Doritos saw sales drop by as much as 26-64%. Jiff peanut butter raised ad support and sales went up 57%; Kraft salad dressings saw a rise of 70%. In the beer category, overall spending was down 1% while Bud Light and Coors Light, each spending ahead of the category, saw sales increases of 15% and 16% respectfully. Pizza Hut sales rose 61% and Taco Bell's 40% thanks to strong advertising support, with McDonald's volume down approximately 28%.
Source: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/08/recession-tips.asp