Takeaway surge among young shoppers presents fresh challenge for supermarkets

Spending on household food has reduced as a direct result of people’s ‘food-to-go’ habits, presenting a new challenge for supermarket brands.

Fresh research from Shoppercentric has shone a light on the rapidly changing face of retail, with 80% of UK shoppers saying they’ve eaten a meal which wasn’t prepared at home over the past month.

Enthusiasm for the ‘food-to-go’ sector is particularly prevalent among young people with 92% of 18 to 24 year old’s embracing convenience versus a 71% share of over 65s.

This is evidenced by the fact that one-tenth of shoppers now believe their grocery spend has reduced as a result of their eating habits, with millennial and Gen Z shoppers in the vanguard of this shift.

The report also found that 44% of those aged 25 to 34 had food delivered by the likes of Deliveroo, UberEats or Domino’s in the past month.

The results come as the ‘big four’ supermarkets are seeking out new ways to showcase their value in a competitive landscape. Tesco, Sainbury’s, Asda and Morrisons all reported a particularly poor Christmas trading period for 2019 as shoppers visited them less often than usual.

Jamie Rayner, managing director of Shoppercentric said: “The research shows us that widening choice, easy accessibility, and pricing to cater for all tastes and budgets, means that many shoppers relying on ‘food-to-go’ believe their spending in those outlets will increase, which likely means more pressure on grocery spending.

“The fact that the food-to-go category is embracing healthier options and sustainability more quickly than grocery retailers means that no one in the grocery sector can afford to turn a blind eye to this challenge.

“For the supermarkets, food-to-go is a competitor hiding in plain sight and presents a growing challenge to which they need to rise.”

The difficulties facing offline grocers was illustrated recently by Meituan Dianping which closed its Ella supermarket stores just one year after launching the brand.

source: https://www.thedrum.com/

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