Financial pressures bearing down on families are forcing more people to consider shopping at cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, according to new research.
Grocery industry analysts IGD found that 26 per cent of respondents to a survey of UK shoppers said that they plan to use discount food stores more in the future and as many as 46 per cent would do so if there was one close to their home.
Recent grocery market data from research group Kantar Worldpanel has shown how the supermarket giants, such as Asda and Tesco, have seen their share of total sector sales fall this year thanks to people preferring cheaper alternatives.
IGD’s data suggests that five per cent of consumers now use discounters for their main grocery shopping trip, and that by the end of 2010 the overall market worth of discount grocery totalled £6.4 billion.
Joanne Denney-Finch, CEO of IGD, commented: “Discounters still account for a very small proportion of the market overall.
“But they might be expected to do well during an economic downturn, with 60 per cent of shoppers telling us that they will use them more if their personal economic circumstances get worse.
“Shoppers also say that perceptions of discounters have changed over the years, with 81 per cent of regular discount food shoppers believing that the quality of products has improved.”
Earlier this month, German supermarket chain Aldi reported that its UK sales in the 12 weeks to October 2nd 2011 grew by 25.1 per cent, and with inflation last month reaching its highest level since the recession in 2008 the trend for shoppers to trade down shows no sign of ending.
Although many economists expect inflation to drop down next year having reached its peak, according to IGD’s research as many as 32 per cent believe that food will be much more expensive over the next 12 months, up from 25 per cent the same time last year.
Young shoppers and those with teenage children seem most likely to use discounters, with those in Scotland most likely to visit them and those in London least likely, whilst at least 23 per cent of consumers from each economic group plans to use these stores more often in the next 12 months.