NEW RESEARCH HAS shown that women are still taking charge of the big weekly shop in households while most shoppers continue to hunt for bargains in supermarkets.
The survey, conducted by Behaviours and Attitudes on behalf of the National Consumer Agency found that 72 per cent of women are responsible for the food and grocery shopping compared while more than half of men in the survey said they had no responsibility for it at all.
Some 23 per cent of men said they share this responsibility in the home.
Fergal O’Leary, Director of Research ad Policy at the NCA said that consumers are now spreading their shopping across a number of stores – a trait that is particularly evident among younger people.
Two thirds of shoppers indicated that they have visited a particular shop due to the prices or offers available there. People between the ages of 35 and 49, possibly those with young families, are most likely to do this, with people over 65 least likely to have chosen a specific store because of prices or special offers.
Almost 9 in 10 shoppers believe they are shopping more wisely and 67 per cent have started to shop in less expensive stores. There is also a move towards home cooking, with 73 per cent of people saying they are cooking more from scratch and 54 per cent using less processed and ready to eat products, possibly due to the horsemeat scandal.
Even though shoppers are making their grocery budget go further, they are not prepared to compromise on quality, with more than 80 per cent saying they are not buying products of lower quality.
The research shows that there is a growing perception among consumers that the quality of supermarket own-brand products is improving, with 71 per cent of respondents stating quality has improved in recent years. More than half of those surveyed are now more inclined to buy own brand products compared to a year ago.
There have been significant shifts from branded to own-brand products in the past 18 months:
O’Leary said that it now appears that “consumers are increasingly aware of the options and potential for savings which own-brand products present”.