Most of the article had to do with just talking about the divide between rich and poor. The part where they said that manufacturers were concentrating on luxury and budget brands did not really prove much. While the reason was given, it was pure speculation that people just no longer want to pay more for a brand over the budget "no-name" product.
You might find this article a interesting. It makes the same kind of point about the health of the consumer, but I believe it does make a stronger case. I had learned about this practice that Walmart engages in while reading an article about their quarterly earnings a few months back, but this is what turns up for a quick google search.http://nudges.org/the-hidden-behavioral-tax-from-a-tight-budget-lessons-from-late-night-walmart/
In part is says that because of pay cheque cycles
"When money is tight, people buy less. When money is really tight, less means a smaller package. Retailers are now meeting that demand. Walmart has adjusted package sizes, stocking large pack sizes early in the month, and small pack sizes late."
and"On the eve of each new month... At around 11 p.m. customers start to come in and shop, Shoppers fill their carts with staples. Baby formula, milk, bread, and eggs. They browse until midnight when their government electronic benefits cards activate. Walmart’s dead-of-night sales zoom well above its daily average over the month."
To me the fact that many shoppers can not buy groceries until their cheques have cleared is worrisome. The fact that at the end of the month they are buying tiny packages of goods which causes their overall monthly bills to skyrocket is more telling than the manufacturers pushing budget and luxury brands...