Consumers perceive `less value’

Despite no change in actual grocery spending over the last six years - and 50% of shoppers not using discount coupons during their last main grocery trip - many Canadians believe they are getting less for their money this year.A new...

Despite no change in actual grocery spending over the last six years – and 50% of shoppers not using discount coupons during their last main grocery trip – many Canadians believe they are getting less for their money this year.

A new study from the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada, called ‘Grocery Attitudes of Canadians 1994,’ says 57% of grocery shoppers believe they are getting less for their grocery dollar, 35% believe they are getting the same, and just 8% think they are getting more.

The study says older shoppers, those in larger households and high spenders all agree more strongly than average that they are getting less for their grocery dollar this year.

It says there are no substantial differences between men and women on this measure, but there are some variations by region.

Although the report says there is no clear reason why grocery shoppers think this way, it may be their perceptions of value are changing, with increases in their standards of value and their expectations.

Not surprisingly, the main grocery shopper in Canada was female, with 82% of women taking the trip to the store against 18% of men taking the same journey.

The study also found the age of the main grocery shopper fairly evenly split. Of the main grocery shoppers, 32% of them were aged 18 to 34, another 32% were 35 to 49, and 36% were 50 and older.

It says brands familiar to shoppers remain an important part of the shopping basket, with more than eight in 10 shoppers buying brands they knew well on their most recent main grocery shopping trip.

It says store brands were bought by two-thirds of all shoppers, but they accounted for only 14% of all products purchased, with generics making up less than 10% of purchases overall.

The definition of familiar brands and store brands was left up to each shopper’s discretion.

Elsewhere the study reports:

-grocery spending has remained steady since 1988 with a household average of $85 a week

-the fat content of food is the clear nutritional concern of the day

-63% of shoppers say they bought a new product because of its price, and 47% bought it because they were ‘just curious’

-buyers of new products show a strong skew to younger and mid-age shoppers, and, are, among other things, substantially better off than average

-discount coupons are popular with shoppers who have children and they are more likely to live in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.