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April 25, 2019

Quarter of UK shoppers have switched their main supermarket, mostly based on price

Despite the attempts of grocers to lure tech-savvy consumers by offering a comprehensive online offer, it turns out that most shoppers are unlikely to change retailer if they change from offline to online.

By GlobalData

GlobalData’s latest monthly survey shows that, over the last year, 23.3% of UK shoppers have switched the retailer they do the majority of their food and grocery shopping with – the discounters (somewhat unsurprisingly) are still effectively using lower basket values as the perfect bait to lure in cash-strapped consumers.

UK grocery shopping habits 2019

But although shoppers attempting to reduce their overall food and grocery bills are still the main driver of change, the search for greater convenience, higher quality and better value for money are still important factors in supermarket choice.

Main drivers for switching primary grocer

Source: GlobalData Note: The chart shows the reasons why consumers that switched supermarket over the last 12 months changed to another retailer. All figures are percentages. Respondents were able to select more than one option so figures will not total 100%. Data is based on GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative consumers conducted in April.

Even with little prior knowledge of the grocery market, it would have been an easy task to suggest price and value for money would top the list of drivers; price-centric Aldi and Lidl grew their UK revenue a combined 11.2% in 2018 and took another 0.6 percentage point share of the total grocery market over the year. Price, it seems, remains the most vital concern for shoppers.

More interesting are the options shoppers did not select. Despite the attempts of grocers to lure tech-savvy consumers by offering a comprehensive online offer, it turns out that most shoppers are unlikely to change retailer if they change from offline to online – only 5.3% of switchers did so. Loyalty schemes also took a backseat in convincing shoppers to change, and as for sustainability – tipped to be one of the supermarket’s central focuses over the next decade – it appears having strong credentials in this area is not particularly valuable in enticing new shoppers.

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