Consumer grocery spending slows as lockdown eases
Spending on groceries has slowed down as the market begins to ease out of extreme lockdown trends, according to data from Kantar World Panel.
Grocery sales growth slowed to 14.4 per cent year-on-year during the 12 weeks to August 9 2020, with grocery spending from mid-July to mid-August amounting to £9.7 billion, the lowest level since February.
The average spend also dropped below £25 for the first time since March.
However, at £24, it remains higher than the pre-Covid 19 average of £19 per trip.
Charlotte Scott, consumer insight director at Kantar, said: “The relaxation of rules across the UK saw shoppers less inclined to stock up their cupboards with regular large trips.
“But while consumers have shopped more often in the past month, localised lockdowns and slower openings resulted in people making fewer trips in the North, the Midlands and Wales.”
A reduction in supermarket visits, two million lower than expected for the period after mandatory face coverings were introduced, suggested the public needed time to adjust to new regulations.
Online shopping continued to grow its market share between mid-July to mid-August, with 13.5 per cent of all sales through the internet.
The exclusion of alcohol from Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme saw take-home alcohol sales also increase by 28.3 per cent, making it a resilient category for retailers.
As the UK officially entered recession on August 12, wider economic issues will dictate how the market will perform in future weeks.
Ms Scott added: “During a recession we would generally expect shoppers to manage their spend more carefully.
“Early evidence suggests that most are not yet choosing to trade down, with brands and premium own label lines currently performing well, however price cuts have increased compared with July as some people look for opportunities to save.”
Shoppers return to steaks and roasting joints
British consumers have returned to steaks and roasting joints, helping make up some of the loss from the restaurant sector over lockdown.
The volume of beef bought increased by 16.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to August 9 according to Kantar Worldpanel data, with sales of steak 21 per cent higher than the same period in 2019.
A surge in demand for roasting joints saw consumers spend 37.4 per cent more on cuts.
Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) data analyst, Glesni Phillips, said: “The initial panic buying phase in the spring where we saw demand for mince for the freezer rather than other cuts, combined with the closure of pubs and restaurants, was a huge challenge for our farmers and processors.
“But the response has been fantastic from the consuming public and the data shows the consumer has come back to fresh red meat as a health and nutritious choice for family meals.”
AHDB said pigmeat spending also increased by 19 per cent, buoyed by significant growth for sausages and bacon, with an extra £93 million spend on these products over the 12 weeks ending August 9.
Spend on frozen potatoes rose by 16 per cent, while crisps rose by 16 per cent in the same time period.
Milkmen saw a boost during lockdown too, with 118,000 shoppers receiving deliveries of dairy in the 12 weeks ending July 12, up 22 per cent. Cheese, butter and cream have all grown ahead of the market as people have baked more and made more sandwiches.
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