Shoppers buying little and often

The big weekly shop may be getting smaller, according to research from IGD. 

Revealed at its annual conference this week, the food and consumer goods research organisation outlined changing consumer patterns, including that shoppers will buy little and often; there will be major changes in store layouts; we’re approaching a tipping point for healthy eating and there will be bolder innovations from branded food and drink manufacturers.

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “The big weekly shop will keep getting smaller. People are shopping more frequently than ever for their food and groceries, but over a third (36%) would still shop even more often if their finances allowed it.

“While this poses a major challenge for superstores, which are designed round a big weekly shop, retailers and their suppliers are already reconsidering how to use their floor space to make their customers’ lives better and respond to cultural change. They are reducing the unnecessary complexity by decreasing the number of products available and improving layouts. It’s starting to work, with over half of superstore users feeling their enjoyment of shopping has improved, and yet more potential for superstores to really capitalise on this.”

However, according to recent Kantar Worldpanel data, the average number of items in a shopping basket has only reduced from 10 in 2011 to 9.9 in 2015, and the research analyst said that a change in shopping habits was “massively overstated”.

The Kantar data did state that spend on top-up missions had increased from 60.6% in 2011 to 60.9% this year, marking a modest growth. However, it added that the ‘for tonight’ shopping occasion was on the rise.

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