Shopping around for food and grocery items has increased after the further lifting of Covid restrictions, and is now higher than pre-pandemic levels, new research has revealed.
IGD’s ShopperVista insight found that the number of food and grocery stores used by shoppers has risen to 13, which is the highest level since December 2018. The shift in shopping culture has been seen most in hypermarkets and supermarkets in the past month and is likely to be driven by a combination of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the heatwave, and the Euro 2020s.
The research reveals that shopper confidence continues to remain relatively stable. At -3, it mirrors last month’s level, and is one of the highest levels in the past five years.
However, concerns about inflation have doubled since April 2021, with 16% of shoppers expecting food prices to get much more expensive.
Simon Wainwright, Director of Global Insight at IGD, said: “During the pandemic and consequent lockdowns, retailers have been able to capitalise on relatively captive audiences. Now, as restrictions lift, shoppers have the freedom to shop around for favourite products, quality and variety. The increase to pre-pandemic levels may be a result of shoppers making up for lost time, boosted by feel-good events, such as the Euro Finals.
“However, this motivation is only likely to be true of more affluent shoppers. Lower income households are more likely to be shopping around for value amid rising concerns around price inflation. Retailers will need to concentrate on driving loyalty to maintain market share, by focusing on range, quality and innovation. There will be a real spotlight on value as inflation rises, particularly for lower income households.”
In addition, the figures show that 75% of shoppers – the same level as last month – still trust the food and consumer goods industry to ensure a good availability of food and groceries despite the operational challenges due to labour shortages.