The Frugal Consumer

“We are seeing, what I call, the redefinition of the American Dream. People report having fallen out of love with the rat race. They are passionate about redefining their lives and what is important to them.”
- Diane Hessan, President and CEO, Communispace

“The new mantra is, ‘do I really need this?’”
- Lynda Resnick, Owner, POM Wonderful, FIJI Water and Teleflora

“What we’ve experienced is customers marching down the demand curve toward much more value-oriented purchases.”
- Gary Loveman, Chairman, CEO and President, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

“It started after 9/11 with the whole staycation trend. People are doing things as families. They are still consuming, but they are consuming differently. Crock pots, food savers, anything that has a value proposition where people see the return for themselves.”
- Martin Franklin, Chairman and CEO, Jarden Corp.

“My bottom line is that the American consumer is toast.”
- Steven Roach, Chairman, Morgan Stanley Asia

These are my favorite quotes from a Milken Institute panel discussion on the mindset of the frugal consumer. This discussion took place over a year ago, but not much has changed. One of the most interesting aspects of the discussion was the speculation around whether our value-oriented frugal behavior will last if the economy improves. The panelists don’t think it will. What do you think?

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