Changing shopper behaviour - Macphie

The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks ending 2 September 2012, show the grocery market growing at 3.3%.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Despite on-going pressures, things seem to be looking up in the grocery market and shoppers are not having to trade down to the same extent as they did last year.”

Consumers respond to economic uncertainty in a number of ways which change their shopping behaviour. Shoppers are changing how they shop, where they shop and what they buy. This is evident in the latest grocery market share figures which clearly show a two-nation divide as upmarket retailer Waitrose and hard discounters Aldi & Lidl, post all-time record market shares. The combined growth rate of these three retailers is almost triple that of the big four supermarkets, as shoppers move away from the middle ground and polarise their spend between the discounters and the premium grocers.

Some consumers prioritise value for money while others have come to the conclusion that there is more to life than purchasing the cheapest option and feel the need to treat themselves in the current economic climate – this is confirmed by the growth of both budget and premium own label products.

Consumers are still reliant on promotions, with 50% of shoppers looking for promotions before they shop and 58% buying more on promotion during their weekly shop.  53% of consumers are using more money off coupons and vouchers, which now account for over 2.2% of total grocery transactions in the UK. It is not surprising therefore that promotional activity within the grocery market is increasing, up 8% from last year.

As purse strings are tightened, scratch meal preparation at home continues to increase.  Over 500million more meals were eaten in the home last year, with ‘part homemade’ products increasing 5% YOY as consumers seek a balance between cost and ease of preparation. It is no surprise therefore that ‘eating in is the new going out’.  The ‘meal deals’ market is significant and growing.  This sector is now worth £35million (up 20% YOY) and purchased by over 35% of consumers.

Reference: Kantar Worldpanel, 2nd October’12