Photo courtesy of M&S

British consumers prefer one discount chain over other supermarkets, but GenX and Boomers have different opinion

Produce Business report

Discount retailer Aldi was selected as the No. 1 supermarket of choice by British consumers in the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest polling done by Yougov, but not all age groups share that opinion.

Though Aldi was most popular among Millennials, who also selected Lidl as their No. 2 go-to grocery option, both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers preferred shopping at M&S Food over all others. Gen X and Baby Boomers both had Aldi listed at No. 6, although they were split on Lidl (GenX at No. 8; Baby Boomers at No. 2).

“With so many costs rising right now, customers want to know they can still afford to treat themselves to high-quality food and drink without breaking the bank,” Richard Thornton, Communications Director at Aldi, said. “Aldi is the only supermarket to offer that unbeatable combination of great quality products at low prices. We believe that’s why British shoppers have voted us the nation’s favourite.”

Both men and women preferred Aldi, though women were very high on M&S Food, as well. So how did the others fare? Among all adults after Aldi (79%), M&S Food and Lidl finished in a tie for second at 75%. Tesco Express was fourth at 73%, while Iceland, Tesco and Morrisons all were tied for fifth. ASDA (70%), Sainsbury’s (69%) and The Co-operative Food (64%) finished in the Top 10. Waitrose was a disappointing 11th.

Millennials were not as keen on Tesco or Iceland, ranking them at No. 8 and No. 11, respectively. They had Tesco Express, ASDA and Morrisons in their Top 5.

Within the survey, there were several trackers, showing how Brits are looking at food choices. More than a third are looking at fat and sugar content when shopping. Around two-thirds say they never shop for food and drink at online food shopping websites. Around 40% are buying food at least once a week at supermarkets, with 30% saying they head to the grocery store 2-3 times per week. Another 40% say they never eat at restaurants, while 50% said they do so once a fortnight. More than 75% said they never shop at outdoor markets.

As for the effects of COVID, inflation and the situation in Ukraine, nearly half of those who were polled said they are seeing food shortages. Consumer confidence has dropped by 2.7 points in the past month, according to YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Household finance measures, especially consumers’ outlook over the next year, also have hit record lows.

“Consumer confidence continued on a steep downward trend, falling to 103.9 in March, which is the lowest level since January 2021, when the UK entered its third national lockdown,” said Kay Neufeld, Head of Forecasting and Thought Leadership at Cebr. “With inflation hitting 6.2% in February on the CPI measure, the cost of living crisis has well and truly arrived in the UK, which goes some way to explaining the dismay expressed by households looking at their financial situation. Unfortunately, with the energy price cap rising in April and the war in Ukraine continuing to roil energy markets, consumers will face more hardship in the months to come.”



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