There has been a “massive shift” in grocery shopping since the pandemic as food prices continue to soar, analyst firm Kantar has said highlighting rise of own-labels and loyalty schemes among the main changes.
According to the figures, the average household made 18 trips to a grocer a month before Covid, but now it is down to around 16 times a month.
Paul Dhaliwal, group sales director at Iceland, says customer behaviour at the supermarket confirms the trend.
“While we are seeing a return to bigger, more infrequent shops in store, we’ve seen shoppers invest more in their weekly shop, particularly at month-end,” he tells the BBC.
Almost 12 per cent of UK grocery spending today is online, down from a peak of 15.4 per cent in February 2021 at the height of the pandemic, Kantar’s data shows.
“Those people have got time now to go out to shops and probably enjoy taking a trip out and going to see people.”
That said, online shopping is still more popular that than it was just before Covid, when it accounted for around 8 per cent of grocery spending.
Shoppers have been swapping established brands for cheaper supermarket alternatives as food prices rise at their fastest rate in 45 years, stated the report, adding that even shoppers who would have rejected own label are now switching to the same.
Supermarkets have also been expanding their own-label ranges as it helps them stand out in a competitive market.
Shoppers are increasingly turning to supermarket loyalty schemes to access discounts. These schemes used to be about collecting points that could be exchanged for experiences such as days out. But most have been revamped or expanded to offer in-store or personalised deals for shoppers.
The report also adds that sales at the discounters Aldi and Lidl soared by more than 23 per cent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 14 May, more than twice as fast as sales are growing at the UK’s top two supermarkets, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
The discounters have been gaining share for a decade but have been boosted by the cost of living crisis, as customers look to save. Last year Aldi overtook Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket, and Adam Leyland, editor of the Grocer magazine, thinks Lidl could soon be fifth.