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It is not surprising that some shoppers are looking to for alternative channels for their food and groceries in an attempt to make savings. Although the Big Four supermarkets remain the most popular channels, alternative channels such as Amazon Groceries aim to tempt shoppers away from their usual supermarket choice. The internet has allowed for the emergence of sites offering bulk and discount groceries without the need for physical stores, thus keeping costs low. Bulk discount stores such as Makro and Costco provide shoppers with not only the opportunity to buy essential in bulk, but also products that they can’t get in standard supermarkets. They also work as a form of entertainment, with many shoppers seeing them as a trip out, where they can take their families, have a browse and have lunch. This report will provide a holistic view on where shoppers go, how frequently and most importantly why they choose this channel to fulfil their shopping needs.
This section of our channel series investigates shopper perceptions, attitudes and behaviours in relation to Large Supermarkets. Large Supermarkets are the most frequented of all the channels and continue to dominate the Food & Grocery market; our in-depth research explores a multitude of themes in this area. The Large Supermarket report will cover channel penetration, spend by mission, primary store (including how shoppers define primary store), shopper share, drivers to store, barriers to purchase (by category) and overall perceptions of the different retailers (Quality, Price, Range and Value).
The latest Food and Grocery Shopper opinion
A lot has been made of the rise in smaller top-up shopper missions…indeed we started talking about this years ago. That ‘Smaller and often’ modality which allows shoppers to restrict spend to items that have a definite and known consumption occasion/need. This has allowed shoppers to restrict food waste considerably. Our new research in shopping channels has highlighted something new…that is the rise of the Super Top-up!
As specialists in all the grocery shopper missions we understand that the definitions of missions goes well beyond a simple methodology of counting the items in a basket without considering the size of a household…for a large family spending £100 could be just a top-up…£20 for a singleton may well be a main shop…it all depend how it fits within the overall purchasing patterns of that family. A Main/Large Mission comprises items for known and future consumption, with the emphasis on the latter, many of the items will be for stock where no immediate need is known, therefore a Top-up shop is the opposite given the advantages listed previously.
So what’s a Super Top-up? Well it won’t surprise you that these fall somewhere in the middle of a Main & Top-up shop in terms of the known and future consumption, but what makes them totally different is the channel used…that is Discounters, in particular Aldi & Lidl. Whilst we are on the subject, calling them discounters seems to refer to them in a negative manner, which I am not in favour of, but for ease, I will continue to refer to them in this way.
Whilst we are on the subject, calling them discounters seems to refer to them in a negative manner, which I am not in favour of, but for ease, I will continue to refer to them in this way. A Super Top-up often starts as a top-up mission (having immediate and know need), but unlike a similar mission in a supermarket, we are seeing evidence of shoppers being more motivated by different products they see in this channel. It feels like more products are innovative and new (often given their continental heritage), and therefore there is a lot more experimenting going on here…and shoppers are loving the products when they try them. This in practise is increasing basket sizes whilst on the same mission…In a Tesco Express the average top-up comes to around £21, whereas in Aldi/Lidl it is £26…now that’s the Super Top-up effect! It also explains why those shoppers from higher demographics love the place…they are often foodies, and seeing something unusual is great for them.
Discounter’s mid-sized store formats are perfect for the shopper who wants a quick shopping mission, but with the advantage of a wide range of interesting products (note; this goes well beyond their price advantage), something the Co-operative may want to think about. So the Super Top-up (an augmented Top-up one may say) is putting some of the enjoyment back into grocery shopper…finding that new product, often unknown brand with low risk (and low price) to try on the family makes the shopper…and the consumers very happy.
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