24 Mar Insider View: February 2015
…… Customer loyalty is shaped by more than short term strategies like price cuts and money off coupons. Many still want the choice of a range of products, special offers and premium quality foods.
Fresh food edged down to its lowest price on record in February* as food deflation was recorded at -0.4%. So what does this mean for shoppers? Our recent Shopper Survey** showed the recession is still a fresh memory for consumers, with most still seeking the best deals. Despite the evidence, 49% felt their weekly food bill had increased in the last year – down from 58% last year. The Discounters have shaken up how we rate Value. Everything seems expensive if you can buy a whole filleted salmon for under £10 in Lidl, or a 500g box of premium Muesli from Aldi for £1.59. Offering a simple, top quality alternative to premium brands at knock down prices remains a winning strategy. This month’s Salt and Vinegar Passions (ref 150213) from Aldi is a case in point, offering nothing new to the category but prompting regular purchase intention due to its highly competitive positioning (at just 79p for a 150g sharing bag). But looking beyond this recalibration of the market what does the future hold; what is the long term impact of the Discounters and how will the multiples respond as the feel good factor increases? There is a danger that consumers will become bored faced with a limited range of ‘me-toos’. Shopping around for the best deals has always been a way of life for many, but it takes time and the availability of different retailers on the doorstep. 56% of shoppers spend the most money on the supermarket nearest home, and the increasing demand for convenience stores shows that consumers will pay a few pence more to fill in the gaps between larger shops. Competitive pricing is important, but ‘a pleasant place to shop’, a ‘good range’ and ‘top quality’ food are also key drivers of consumer loyalty.
* British Retail Consortium; Times March 4th 2015 ** Source: Cambridge MR Shopper U&A Jan-Feb 2015, sample size: 360
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A TASTE OF CONSUMER OPINIONS. . .
- A top quality dessert hit the sweet spot this month, with Pots & Co’s Lemon & Lime Posset – ‘a must’ when entertaining (Product of the month Review 150235)
- You’ve got to admit it, Muller are top notch at Fruit Corner, as this de Luxe Cherry Kirsch flavour demonstrates. (Review 150234)
- Pie Minister continues to inject some fun into the pie category, with their Moo & Brew Beef Steak & Craft Ale Pie generating a high level of initial appeal (Review 150217)
- Canned squid proved a step too far with 98% rejecting Tesco Finest Squid Pieces in Salsa Picante as ‘not for me’. (Review 150229)
- Waitrose’s Love Life healthy eating range continues to innovate, but the elaborate list of ingredients in their Chicken Multigrain Soup polarised opinion. (Review 150226)
- Hello, a strange name for a Crunchy Nougat Bar from Lindt, but it proved a ‘moreish, indulgent treat’, if a little pricey. (Review 150208).