Californians Love Their Grocery Loyalty Programs — But They Could Soon Go Away

Surveys show consumers rely on grocery rewards cards to save money.

When legislators passed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, they did so knowing there would be a need to fix unintended consequences associated with the Act before it went into effect in 2020. One of those necessary fixes is to assure that loyalty rewards programs would still be able to be offered by grocers and others, as the language of the Act was unclear.

While some groups claim that rewards programs undermine the privacy of Californians, what many people don’t know, is the data of grocery shoppers in California is already protected.

The Supermarket Club Card Disclosure Act of 1999, which according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, “prohibits supermarket club card issuers from selling or sharing personal customer information”, regulated the use of customer data while still allowing for grocers to build loyalty programs that shoppers love and utilize to save money.

Lawmakers must fix the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, before shoppers lose the discounts and rewards that supermarket club cards provide.

The Facts

  • According to Forrester Research, shoppers are more likely to belong to a grocery store loyalty program than any other retailer program.
  • A recent survey by Synchrony Financial and Reuters found that 86 percent of shoppers rate grocery loyalty programs as “valuable” because they offer products used on a daily basis.
  • After housing, transportation and taxes, the USA Today found Americans spend the highest amount of their income on food.
  • And in 2017, Forrester Research found 78 percent of shoppers find that loyalty programs save them money on their grocery bill.
  • Finally, loyalty programs also provide a point of differential for brick-and-mortar retailers as Nielsen found 66 percent of people would shop more at online retailers if these sellers offered loyalty programs similar to those of traditional in-store retailers.

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