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The Savvy Food Shopper - UK - April 2018

“A savvy shopping mentality is firmly ingrained among UK consumers when it comes to their grocery purchases. That this is underpinned by emotions as well as by monetary gains, signals continuing longevity.
However, there are plentiful opportunities for brands and retailers to connect with the savvy shopper beyond promotions. Positioning themselves as helping shoppers to reduce food waste or use low-cost ingredients, for example, will chime.”

– Emma Clifford, Associate Director - Food & Drink

This report examines the following issues:

  • Saving money creates a feelgood factor
  • Supermarkets can win goodwill by steering consumers towards cheaper products 
  • Helping shoppers avoid food waste connects with savvy mentality

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The return of income squeeze characterises 2017
              • Rapid food inflation in late 2017, but slowing into 2018
                • Many consumers have become more careful of food spend
                  • Move towards ELDP and continuing growth of discounters
                    • Levels of top-up shopping rise
                      • The consumer
                        • Two in five are spending more cautiously on food
                          • Figure 1: Changes to how careful consumers are with how much money they spend on food shopping, February 2018
                        • A savvy shopping mentality is well-entrenched
                          • Supermarkets lead on grocery shopping, but half buy from discounters
                            • Figure 2: Typical food shopping locations, February 2018
                          • Grocery shopping tends to be a pre-planned, budgeted mission
                            • Figure 3: Food shopping behaviour, February 2018
                          • Scratch cooking and frozen food are popular means of cutting food costs
                            • Figure 4: Preferred ways to save money on food bills, February 2018
                          • Robust demand for more British produce, grocers can steer consumers towards cheaper products
                            • Figure 5: Offerings consumers would like to see more of from food retailers, February 2018
                          • Avoiding food waste seen as a key way to save money
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards food shopping, February 2018
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Saving money creates a feelgood factor
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Supermarkets can win goodwill by steering consumers towards cheaper products
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Helping shoppers avoid food waste connects with savvy mentality
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • The return of income squeeze characterises 2017
                                                • Rapid food inflation in late 2017, but slowing into 2018
                                                  • Many consumers have become more careful of food spend
                                                    • Move towards ELDP and continuing growth of discounters
                                                      • Levels of top-up shopping rise
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • 2017 characterised by the return of income squeeze
                                                          • Household spend is subdued
                                                            • Pressure is set to ease
                                                              • Figure 7: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2012-February 2018
                                                            • Consumer sentiment slips, but still relatively strong
                                                              • Figure 8: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, February 2018
                                                            • Rapid food inflation in late 2017…
                                                              • …but slows in 2018
                                                                • Figure 9: Annual percentage change in CPI, total and food, monthly basis, January 2012-February 2018
                                                              • Many consumers forced to become more careful
                                                                • The rise in in-home food spend lags behind food inflation
                                                                  • The move towards ELDP
                                                                    • The food discounters are not losing their steam
                                                                      • Levels of top-up shopping continue to rise
                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Two in five are spending more cautiously on food
                                                                          • A savvy shopping mentality is well-entrenched
                                                                            • Supermarkets lead on grocery shopping, but half buy from discounters
                                                                              • Grocery shopping tends to be a pre-planned, budgeted mission
                                                                                • Own-label has a strong hold among shoppers
                                                                                  • Two thirds tactically wait for promotions
                                                                                    • Scratch cooking and frozen food are popular means of cutting food costs
                                                                                      • Robust demand for more British produce
                                                                                        • Supermarkets can steer consumers towards cheaper products
                                                                                          • Avoiding food waste seen as a key way to save money
                                                                                            • Saving money creates a feelgood factor
                                                                                            • Changes to Carefulness on Food Spend

                                                                                              • Two in five are spending more cautiously on food
                                                                                                • Figure 10: Changes to how careful consumers are with how much money they spend on food shopping, February 2018
                                                                                              • Shoppers are well-versed in savvy habits
                                                                                                • More frugal habits have implications for brands and retailers
                                                                                                  • No change in shopping behaviour for the majority
                                                                                                    • A savvy shopping mentality is well-entrenched
                                                                                                    • Where People Shop for Groceries

                                                                                                      • Supermarkets remain the cornerstones of grocery shopping
                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Typical food shopping locations, February 2018
                                                                                                      • 52% of shoppers buy food from discounters
                                                                                                        • Shopping at discounters a popular way to save money
                                                                                                          • Savvy shoppers have the widest repertoires
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Repertoire of typical food shopping locations, February 2018
                                                                                                        • Food Shopping Habits

                                                                                                          • Grocery shopping tends to be a pre-planned mission…
                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Food shopping behaviour, February 2018
                                                                                                            • …and a budgeted one
                                                                                                              • Own-label has a strong hold among shoppers
                                                                                                                • Own-label benefits from the savvy shopping mentality
                                                                                                                  • Young consumers are more inclined to choose own-label
                                                                                                                    • Two thirds tactically wait for promotions
                                                                                                                      • Other messages needed to drive associations with being bargains
                                                                                                                      • Preferred Ways to Save Money on Food Bills

                                                                                                                        • Scratch cooking is a popular means of cutting costs
                                                                                                                          • Positioning products as savvy alternatives to eating out can overcome the threat from scratch cooking
                                                                                                                            • Figure 14: Preferred ways to save money on food bills, February 2018
                                                                                                                          • Frozen food can be a winner when budgets are tight
                                                                                                                            • Retailers can do more to push their frozen offering
                                                                                                                              • The positive impact for ambient food is more limited
                                                                                                                                • Brands look to advertising to improve the image of canned food
                                                                                                                                • Interest in Offerings from Food Retailers

                                                                                                                                  • Robust demand for more British produce
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Offerings consumers would like to see more of from food retailers, February 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Ethics become lesser priorities when spending is reined in
                                                                                                                                    • Strong visibility and support for British food producers in dairy…
                                                                                                                                      • …and scope for more in other categories
                                                                                                                                        • Retailers can do more to support scratch cooking
                                                                                                                                          • Meal deals can harness interest in scratch cooking
                                                                                                                                            • Supermarkets can steer consumers towards cheaper products
                                                                                                                                              • Swap ideas for meat and fish will appeal
                                                                                                                                                • ‘Wonky veg’ fits well in this space
                                                                                                                                                  • Promotions act as a steer for meal choices
                                                                                                                                                    • Tracking spend chimes most among under-35s
                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Food Shopping

                                                                                                                                                      • Avoiding food waste seen as a key way to save money
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Attitudes towards food shopping, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Scope to provide shoppers more support with this mission
                                                                                                                                                          • Recipe inspiration can play a role
                                                                                                                                                            • Saving money creates a feelgood factor
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                                                  The Savvy Food Shopper - UK - April 2018

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