The average price paid for a seasonal grocery category is (surprisingly) lower during the category's seasonal demand peak. For several product categories at one supermarket chain, demand peaks are shown to be associated with 1) consumer substitution to lower-quality products, 2) product price reductions, especially on products that increase their market shares, and as a result 3) a decline in the average price paid for the product category. In one very seasonal category, price reductions are driven by intertemporal substitution associated with large weekly discounts. Findings are consistent with any of several loss leader models.
"Pricing Lower or Buying Cheaper? How Grocery Consumers Pay Less during Seasonal Demand Peaks,"
Undergraduate Economic Review: Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uer/vol9/iss1/6