Ethical and healthy lifestyle consumers bear out their claims
What consumers actually put in their baskets often deviates from what their intentions are

Ethical and healthy lifestyle consumers bear out their claims

Kath Hammond
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We all know that saying is one thing, and doing is another but how true is the maxim when it comes to fresh produce shopping? Kantar Worldpanel brings readers of Produce Business UK this exclusive analysis on consumer behaviour

 View the full presentation here

Consumer action when it comes to budgeting appears to deviate from intent. Some 51% of shoppers agreed with the statement that they work to a strict budget while 49% disagreed. However, they buy less of their fresh produce volume on promotional deals than those who don’t claim to work to a strict budget, as Slide 2 shows.

“So if we listen to shoppers talking about price, promotions aren’t their biggest concern,” says Kantar Worldpanel client executive Olivia Cole.

Convenience vs convenient 

We have a perception that we are a time-pressed generation and certainly 39% of Kantar’s panel agreed with the statement: ‘I rely heavily on convenience products to make cooking simple/quick’. However, convenience in terms of products, does not necessarily mean convenience in terms of retail format.

“Shoppers concerned with convenience spend more on prepared produce, but they are less likely to shop in convenient store formats,” says Cole (slide 3).

Claims that stack up

Organic and Fairtrade are two labels that are often lumped together as denoting ‘ethical’ shopping, despite their different messaging. It is interesting therefore that Kantar’s analysis finds that Fairtrade shoppers are more likely to buy organic produce than those who do not actively seek out Fairtrade products (slide 4).

Another area where the analysis found shoppers live up to their claims is with respect to diet. Only 12% disagreed with the statement ‘my diet is very important to me’ and the 88% of diet-aware shoppers turn out to spend more on produce and buy it more frequently (slide 5).

“A healthy lifestyle is a claim that diet-conscious shoppers live up to,” explains Cole. “And it’s pears and tropical fruits they are more likely to buy.”

Internet allegiance 

The role of the internet in fresh produce purchasing is a point of great contention and while 73% agreed with the statement: ‘I regularly use the internet to find ways to make my life easier’, they only bought produce online three times more in a year than those who disagreed with the statement (slide 6).

“Shoppers that agree, buy produce online 14 times a year, whereas those that disagree buy produce 11 times a year,” says Cole. “This illustrates that there is a disconnection between what shoppers say and do when buying produce.”

Discount dichotomy

Perhaps unsurprisingly 98% of Kantar’s panellists agree that ‘it’s great that supermarkets stock such a wide range of quality products’ but their actions in shopping outside the Big 4 when visiting discount retailers, with a smaller range, hints that they only pay lip-service to the statement, as shown in slide 6.

“Shoppers claiming to value a wide range spend 70% of their produce spend in the Big 4, but shop outside the Big 4 nearly as often as those not valuing range,” Cole points out. “When it comes down to it, attractive discounter price points and concise ranges are challenging the appeal of wide ranges of the Big 4. 

View the full presentation by Kantar Worldpanel here

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