UK shoppers set to spend £22.2bn on groceries this Christmas

07/12/2017 - 10:10
Although a third of UK shoppers are “worried about the cost of Christmas,” they are expected to spend £22.2 billion on groceries this year – up 2.6% from 2016.

According to IGD’s latest forecast, price inflation and falling wages over the past 12 months have resulted in “growing concern” over the cost of Christmas compared to last year (32%), which will have greater impact on shopping habits.

Rather than doing all their Christmas shopping in one hit, at one store, the research found that 45% are planning on starting early this year – up 10% from last year – to “spread the cost,” and that families and larger households will look around for deals, multi-buys and larger pack sizes to “keep costs down.”

That said, 66% still agree that it is a time to “splash out” on food and groceries (up from 54% in 2016), with 82% of consumers willing to spend more on certain products for better quality, in particular:

  • Turkey - 42%
  • Biscuits/chocolate – 39%
  • Cheese – 38%
  • Desserts and cakes – 37%
  • Mince pies – 28%
  • Gammon/cured meats - 28%
  • Wine and champagne - 27%
  • Fruit and vegetables – 27%
  • Crisps/nuts/dried fruit - 26%
  • Christmas pudding – 25%
  • Red meat – 24%
  • Fish and seafood – 20%
  • Beer and cider – 20%
  • Stuffing – 17%
  • Soft drinks  - 17%
  • Spirits – 15%
  • None  - 18%

Interestingly, only a third (32%) of shoppers confessed to having set a food and grocery budget this year, which backs up the claim that 55% are “always” looking out for “new and exciting” products at Christmas and that 60% “always end up buying a number of unplanned products” despite planning their shopping in advance.

IGD shopper insight manager, Vanessa Henry, said: “Despite some concerns about costs, shoppers still see this time of year as the main chance to treat themselves and their families. But this doesn’t necessarily mean spending more.

“Our research shows us that shoppers are being savvier with their spending to ensure they don’t have to sacrifice on quality, with more shopping around at several stores to seek out the best deal as opposed to buying cheaper products. We’re also seeing shoppers trying to get ahead of the season’s spending by starting their purchases earlier in the year to spread the cost.”

“Retailers will need to work harder to strengthen their in-store offer to stand out. Our data shows lots of opportunities for this kind of engagement, particularly with shoppers being more likely to impulse purchase and try new products at this time of year.”

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