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Comfort and convenience lead the way for growth in grocery Monday, 24th September 2012
The UK consumer is spending more money on comfort and convenience, innovation and health foods, despite price hikes sending till receipts soaring.
A recent Snapshot Report from SymphonyIRI Group, an industry leader in FMCG market measurement, found consumers’ spending an increasing amount on groceries that offered convenience, innovation, new tastes and a health-focus.
Ready meals grew by almost 11 per cent in volume over the past year, leading to an extra £200 million spent on convenience products. Similarly, comfort food continued to prove popular with a nation caught in a double-dip recession, with traditional British meals such as Cottage Pie and Cumberland Sausages becoming some of the country’s top choices by value sales.
Aside from home comforts, the nation also seemed to adopt a taste for healthier food options, with the London 2012 Olympics cited for leading a 6 per cent rise in unflavoured mineral water sales and a 4 per cent rise in porridge sales, perceived to be a healthy, substantial breakfast.
However, it looks as if the grocery sector will have plenty to contend with in the coming months as sales continued to be driven solely by an increase in price. According to the Snapshot Report, despite an increase in value growth for two thirds of the categories analysed, half were driven up purely by price increases. In fact two thirds of the 300 categories measures showed an annual volume decline.
Tim Eales, Strategic Insight director at SymphonyIRI Group said, “Every day that price inflation remains above wage inflation means that somebody, somewhere, is worse off. This is causing packaged grocery to shrink slowly by volume. However, we are spending more money as we are forced to buy at higher prices. Despite this, opportunities still exist to cash in on changing tastes and the hunger for interesting new ideas.’