A return to buying locally, home delivery, and list making are all major trends today, and concern about animal welfare is growing.The hard numbers confirm the trends.
Sales through local convenience stores have mushroomed, and they now account for over one fifth of all grocery sales, up 5% to £33.6bn in 2011. Local stores are indeed convenient. They cater for the weary commuter who does not want to detour via a superstore on the way home, preferring instead to buy what is needed for supper that evening and go straight home. They are a boon for the older, and walking to a local store helps save on petrol costs.
Localism is not confined to a local shop. Supermarkets are getting in on the act, mindful that nearly half of consumers say that supporting local/ British producers is their number one shopping concern.On line shopping and delivery to home has exploded. This market is now worth £4.8bn, up 21%, and sales are expected to double by 2015.
And the rise in sales of welfare friendly chicken, the use only of free range eggs by all the major supermarkets, and the interest in better welfare pork all attest to increasing numbers of consumers putting their money where their animal welfare mouth is. 31% of shoppers cite animal welfare concerns as a driver for what they buy.Much has been written about the careful consumer, adapting to difficult economic times by sticking to a budget, using lists rather than buy whatever takes their fancy, and going back to cooking.
Whilst the way we shop may be a return to previous decades, the technological tools we have to help us would leave the 1950’s shopper wide eyed. The internet allows grocery lists to be sent to the store without having to leave the armchair, smart phone apps can be used to create a shopping list anywhere, and thousands of recipes are available at the touch of a button rather than having to wade through cookbooks.A return to old fashioned methods and values helped by the latest technology will be welcomed by most.
It must be remembered though that within this warmth and nostalgia lies a fundamental truth – and that is the need for an acceptable price/value relationship. There is a hard edge to shopping today, and it is about seeking the best bargains, finding the lowest price, buying 40% of goods on promotion, and making sure that the item in question, whether a premium or low ticket item, really is worth the price. This was probably true for the 1950’s as well as in 2012.