NEWS27 November 2014

Price isn't factor for majority of European grocery shoppers

Europe FMCG News

UK — Despite the popularity of discount grocers such as Lidl and Aldi, shoppers buying FMCG in Europe are largely influenced by factors other than price according to Kantar Media’s TGI Europa study of shoppers in Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

Two shopper behaviour segments are identified in the study as being predominantly driven by price – ‘strategic savers’ and ‘promiscuous purchasers’ – but these account for only about one third of all shoppers.

The study found that shopping motivations in Europe are a complex mix. For example despite being particularly badly affected by the European recession, there is still a significant group of Spanish shoppers who favour premium brands. ‘Quality crusaders’ – they like quality and premium – make up 20% of Spanish shoppers and 23% of British ones, compared with 17% as the average across the four markets.

Spain does have the highest proportion of ‘promiscuous purchasers’ – people who have an extensive brand repertoire to keep costs down.

British shoppers are the least ethical: only 6% are influenced by ethical considerations – ‘ethical empathisers’ – during their purchases, compared with 12% in Germany and 11% in Spain.

Compared with other countries, France has proportionately around twice as many ‘convenience kings’ (driven by anything that makes shopping more convenient e.g. locality, opening hours and parking) as any of the other three countries. This may be a reflection of the prevalence of enormous hypermarkets in France, selling everything under one roof.

Germany accounts for more than half of all ‘conscious connoisseurs’ in real terms. These are people who are passionate about food and absorb information about it at every opportunity, from various sources. However, this is the smallest of the FMCG groups, accounting for 7% of shoppers.

Anne Benoist, director, Kantar Media TGI, said: “The world of FMCG shopping is hugely competitive, causing brands and retailers to embark upon price-based promotions and in some countries create price wars. No-one is immune from commercial difficulties, as some of the most established retailers have been finding in recent years.

“It is therefore more important than ever that brands and retailers understand the different types of shoppers that exist across Europe and tailor their offer to appeal to the very different motivations that drive each group’s shopping behaviour. When sales are under threat cutting prices is seen by many as a quick fix, but the reality is that it will probably only sway a minority of shoppers.”

@RESEARCH LIVE

5 Comments

6 years ago

An interesting perspective which totally aligns with our own observations that price isn’t everything from a shoppers’ point of view. To add another layer to this understanding however, we have found it useful look at shopper motivations and needs at a category and/or mission level… A shopper buying a meal for tonight might focus on quality, but when on a main shop may approach the same categories with a price mindset. These are the nuances that drive successful category management & shopper marketing

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6 years ago

Or could this be an example of the difference between claimed behaviour and actual behaviour. We see that all the time in media consumption.

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6 years ago

Segmentations emphasise difference so although I agree with the conclusion this isn't the right research method to make this point. Price is an underlying factor for everyone to some extent, and the supermarkets have further trained shoppers to think price. However, competitive price is not a sufficient condition, albeit a necessary one for groceries. This is why we see discounters working hard on other elements of the mix such as store expereince and quality in footfall driving categories.

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6 years ago

Either way it's really good to see the 'Big 4' getting a real kicking whatever the reason is. Price is a massive factor whatever anyone says and for too long the British shopper has been ripped off. The market is undergoing massive trend change and the weekly shop at a big out of town megastore is being replaced by shorter term buying by an increasingly price conscious quality aware time poor consumer. Segments are becoming harder to predict and if they are even true in the first place will last about 5 minutes before the market changes yet again.

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6 years ago

Interesting article, but the title is misleading. The article seems to be based on an attitudinal segmentation where differences between segments are relative. So the fact that there are only a few consumer segments which are price driven doesn't mean that price isn't an important choice criteria for a lot of people.

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