Choice driving shoppers to butchers

One-third of consumers is so overwhelmed by the choice in supermarkets that they prefer to shop at their local butchers.

A poll by ICM and business consultant Accenture found that these shoppers choose specialist stores as a way to limit the number of choices available.

It also found that elderly shoppers are particularly unhappy about the increased opportunities to buy, with half of those over 65 describing the choice in supermarkets as overwhelming.

Most consumers welcome greater choice in general, but a significant number say it makes shopping more stressful and time-consuming.

Richard Stevenson, technical manager at the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, said there was a much wider choice of produce in butchers than at supermarkets, which "tend only to stock two or three popular cuts". He added that people usually chose to shop at a butchers on quality grounds and to support local businesses.

MLC marketing director Richard Lowe said many shoppers were tempted to visit a butchers for special occasions such as Christmas because they trusted the quality of their products.

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