A recent report shows that there have been some changes in purchasing habits by consumers when shopping in supermarkets.
The study of 1046 shoppers in Australia was done by The Toluna and Harris Interactive on 09 April.
It shows that nearly a third of Aussies have substituted alternative brands on their favourite products. Some of this change is likely to be due to the significantly reduced number of brands of essential products like toilet rolls and paper towel which are now available in the supermarkets.
The study also shows that more than half (52 %) of those surveyed were willing to pay more for products than they did before this pandemic. Price was one of the main factors influencing the decision before COVID-19, but it would appear that now the main driver in the purchase may actually be the presence of the product, eg; toilet paper, on the shelf regardless of the cost or brand.
Thankfully the insane panic buying of ceratin products has eased and the supermarkets are reinforcing this through buying limits and reduced brands.
The report shows that it would appear that over two thirds (68%) of those surveyed have had to leave the supermarket without purchasing specific products. This would reflect the period when panic buying was happening and what has been implemented since.
41% of those surveyed have had to do what many of us had to do at the beginning of this pandemic, the having to go to several stores to try to find specific products.
Sales figures for the supermarkets are showing that even with most of us staying at home most of the time, we are getting our groceries personally . This report shows that of the 1046 surveyed 79% have been out to get their groceries over the two weeks before the survey and only 20% have done it on line. Whether this is due to getting out of the house for a little while or because of restrictions on online delivery and click and collect, is not obvious.
With much discussion now happening about what path to take to try and return us all to a normal life, this report does raise a few important questions, which need to be considered, including;
If people have been prepared to change brands during this pandemic, will they do so when it is over?
How does that impact on the multiple brands which were on our shelves?
If people have been prepared to pay more for products, what does that mean once the pandemic is over?
How can food businesses use this information to set themselves up in the future?