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European Consumer Lifestyles - May 2012

This is the first in a series of nine reports analysing consumer data from four European countries – France, Italy, Spain, Germany.

In this first lifestyle analysis, a cross country analysis explores the European mindset regarding consumers’ financial outlook, the impact of tighter household budgets on daily life such as grocery shopping, cooking and eating habits, and enthusiasm for adopting new technology.

In this report, for cross-comparison purposes the term E4 is used in reference to the four European countries.

Future reports

There will be four reports published in July and four reports in October:

July – First set of country reports (covering Healthy Lifestyles, Cooking Habits, Grocery Shopping, Finance) - individual reports for Italy, France, Germany and Spain

October – Second set of country reports (covering attitudes towards Green, Technology, Finance) – individual reports for Italy, France, Germany and Spain

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Category-specific data
        • Methodology
        • Executive Summary

          • Economic outlook reveals a clear North/South Divide
            • Consumers adjust their grocery shopping behaviour
              • Obesity concerns challenge modern cooking and eating habits
                • Online grocery shopping is slow to take off
                  • Technology infiltrates every area of consumer lifestyles
                  • Economic Outlook Reveals A Clear North/South Divide

                    • Key points
                      • Cautious optimism disguises Southern struggle
                        • Figure 1: “How does your own financial situation compare to how it was a year or so ago?”, January 2012
                      • A stronger sense of stability reigns in France and Germany
                        • Austerity bites for Italy and Spain
                          • Figure 2: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, January 2012
                        • Personal finances give real cause for concern
                          • Figure 3: “How do you feel about your financial situation over the next year or so?”, January 2012
                        • What it means
                        • Consumers Adjust Their Grocery Shopping Behaviour

                          • Key points
                            • Bargain seeking has become a priority
                                • Figure 4: “In the last 12 months, how have your grocery shopping habits changed, if at all?”, January 2012
                                • Figure 5: “In the last 12 months, how have your grocery shopping habits changed, if at all?”, January 2012
                              • Italian consumers embark on a cost-cutting shopping drive
                                • Spanish consumers reluctant to switch retailers but not brands
                                    • Figure 6: “In the last 12 months, how have your grocery shopping habits changed, if at all?”, January 2012
                                  • French consumers migrate towards frozen and ambient to save costs
                                      • Figure 7: “I have switched from branded to cheaper own-label groceries”, according to supermarket used, France, January 2012
                                    • German consumers stock up at the discounters
                                      • Private-label demand is on the rise
                                        • Figure 8: Private-label value of retail sales of food and non-alcoholic drinks, at retail selling prices, 2010 and 2011
                                        • Figure 9: Private-label launches as % of all new food and non-alcoholic drink products launched, 2007-11
                                      • What it means
                                      • Obesity Concerns Challenge Modern Cooking and Eating Habits

                                        • Key points
                                          • Childhood obesity levels keep healthy eating on the public agenda
                                            • Figure 10: Adult obesity rates, 2011
                                          • Cost compromises consumer ability to eat healthily
                                            • Figure 11: Agreement with the statement: “I’m always striving for a healthier lifestyle”, by age and socio-economic group, January 2012
                                            • Figure 12: “Now thinking about issues that can affect your choice of fruit and vegetables (including potatoes), which, if any, of the following statements do you agree with?”, January 2012
                                          • Enjoyment of cooking gives way to convenience midweek
                                              • Figure 13: “Which of these (selected) statements, if any, describe your cooking style?”, January 2012
                                            • Following health advice at home and when eating out
                                              • Figure 14: Agreement with the statement “We struggle to meet the five a day/daily recommended target in my household”, January 2012
                                            • What it means
                                            • Online Grocery Shopping is Slow to Take Off

                                              • Key points
                                                • Grocery shopping barely features on consumers’ online radar
                                                  • Figure 15: Online shopping penetration, January 2012
                                                  • Figure 16: Germany: % of consumers purchasing products online, 2010
                                                • Expansion of online reach and ‘click & collect’ formats on the rise
                                                  • What it means
                                                  • Technology Infiltrates Every Area of Consumer Lifestyles

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Spanish consumers are early adopters of new technology but have less to spend
                                                          • Figure 17: “Which of the following technology products, if any, do you have in your household or do you personally own?”, January 2012
                                                        • Ownership follows traditional patterns
                                                            • Figure 18: Ownership of technology products in the household, by gender, E4 average, January 2012
                                                          • Rising youth and overall unemployment will affect uptake of smartphone technology
                                                              • Figure 19: Selection of technology products owned, by age and socio-economic group, E4 average, January 2012
                                                            • Spanish consumers are least reliant on their home PC to access the internet
                                                                • Figure 20: Top ten online activities carried out in the past three month by smartphone users, January 2012
                                                              • German consumers are more selective about their choice of online activity
                                                                • Figure 21: “Thinking about online activities, which of the following, if any, have you done in the past three months?”, January 2012
                                                              • Spain
                                                                • Germany
                                                                  • Italy
                                                                    • France
                                                                        • Figure 22: Examples of financial transactions conducted online in the past three months, January 2012
                                                                      • What it means
                                                                      • Appendix

                                                                        • Financial tracker
                                                                          • Figure 23: Current financial situation, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 24: Financial situation compared to last year, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 25: Financial confidence, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 26: Impact of the slowdown, by country, January 2012
                                                                        • Food tracker
                                                                          • Figure 27: Grocery shopping habits, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 28: Attitudes towards healthy lifestyles, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 29: Cooking style, by country, January 2012
                                                                        • Technology tracker
                                                                          • Figure 30: Technology products owned by household, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 31: Technology products personally owned, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 32: Internet access, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 33: Online activities, by country, January 2012
                                                                          • Figure 34: Online activities, by country, January 2012

                                                                      European Consumer Lifestyles - May 2012

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