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Consumers seek value in expectation of price rises

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An increasing number of supermarket customers admit they will target the cheapest products, as almost all consumers expect food prices to rise this year, according to new research.

More than nine out of ten consumers (91 per cent), responding to the latest Shopper Track research from international grocery experts IGD, said that they think food will be more expensive over the next 12 months, with 33 per cent believing prices will be much higher.

In October 87 per cent of respondents thought that prices would rise and only 19 per cent believed food would be much more expensive, reflecting rising consumer belief that recent inflationary pressures will not be suppressed by the end of the year.

Due to this new grocery environment a quarter of those questioned in January for the latest report said they would buy the lowest priced supermarket own label products over the next year, up from 18 per cent in October.

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD CEO, said: “There’s been widespread media coverage of rising commodity prices and the pressures it is placing on the cost of food, and we see the effect of this coming through in our shopper research.

“This pressure, combined with higher living costs, is causing shoppers to reassess how they spend their money.”

Food inflation reached 4.6 per cent in January, according to research by the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen, despite supermarkets attempting to absorb and offset growing international crop prices.

With petrol and commodity prices still rising, consumers are bracing themselves for further increases and supermarkets will need to work hard to promote the quality along with price of their own brand goods.

“We see the focus for shoppers is still about value rather than price alone,” Denney-Finch added.

“Shoppers are continuously assessing products based on the performance that they deliver and are prepared to pay a little extra where they see great value being demonstrated.”

Published on Tuesday 22 February by Editorial Assistant

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