Table of Contents

Introduction

In this insight report, we explore the grocery shopping preferences of Irish consumers. In-store grocery shopping is ripe for technological innovation and consumers have high expectations. This research was gathered on 16th December 2020 over 24 hours. 1620 responses were collected from 18-55 year olds in the Republic of Ireland.

General Preferences

Row chart of what extent respondents agree with the statement "I enjoy grocery shopping" with 45.83% agreeing.

45% of respondents agree that they enjoy grocery shopping. 18% strongly agree with the statement “I enjoy grocery shopping”, compared to only 4.5% who strongly disagree with the statement. This generally indicates that grocery shopping has a high level of enjoyment across the population. Almost half of irish consumers (48.12%) agree with the statement “I would rather shop in a large supermarket than a small supermarket”. Less than 10% of respondents in some way disagree with the statement, demonstrating that consumers want larger supermarkets. 

The majority of respondents (64.3%) agree or strongly agree with the statement “I use as many coupons.discount/loyalty programmes as I can to keep my grocery bill down.” Only 15% of respondents neither agree nor disagree with the statement. Therefore the majority of Irish consumers are keen to utilise coupons, discounts and loyalty programmes while grocery shopping.

Convenience

58.12% of respondents agree with the statement “I try to save time by buying all groceries at one store”, with another 21% strongly agreeing. The majority of respondents (54.34%) agree that the way supermarkets are laid out makes it easy to find the product they need. Only 12.23% disagree with the statement with a further 2.35% strongly disagreeing with it. 

47.68% of respondents agree with the statement “Computerised checkout scanners benefit shoppers”, with another 28% strongly disagreeing. Only less than 9% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree with the statement. This highlights the broad consumer’s desire for more technological innovation in grocery shopping. 

Products

35% of respondents agree with the statement “I like to try new grocery products when they first come out”. 32% are indifferent to the statement and another 21% disagree with the statement. The majority of consumers (57%) agree with the statement “I normally buy some products on my grocery shopping trip that I hadn’t planned to”. Less than 6% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree with the statement. 

Almost half of respondents (49%) agree with the statement “If a product is out of stock in a supermarket I would substitute rather than go to another store to get it”. One fifth of respondents (20%) disagree with that statement, while 17.91% neither agree nor disagree.

Meals

11% of respondents strongly agree with the statement “I plan meals ahead of my shopping trip” with another 48% agreeing with it too. Interestingly, a similar portion of respondents agree with the statement “I enjoy preparing meals at home”, though almost twice as many consumers strongly agree with the statement “they enjoy preparing meals at home” (22%) compared to strong agreeing with the statement “I plan meals ahead of my shopping trip.” (11%). Less than 13% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree with the statement “I enjoy preparing meals at home”. 

On the other end of the spectrum, 36% of respondents disagree with the statement “If they were available, I would buy pre-prepared meals in the supermarket to save me time preparing meals at home”. Another 15% of respondents strongly disagree with the statement too. Roughly 1 in 5 consumers (22%) agree with the statement, along with 5% who strongly agree. A little more than a quarter of respondents buy pre-prepared meals to save time. 

Change

Finally, we asked respondents what they would change about grocery shopping in supermarkets if they could. Generally, respondents wanted more technology and personalisation involved in their shopping. From smart trolleys to convenient sectioning in the shop, respondents want and expect real innovation in supermarkets as other industries advance.

Key Takeaways

  • Computerisation is Key: The convergence of online and in-store shopping has accelerated unforeseen amounts in 2020. In addition, people have lost patience with queuing, packing, crowded spaces and inefficiency as a whole in the shopping experience. There was a remarkable demand for ‘smart trolleys’ and ‘scan as you go’ options to be implemented.
  • The Essentiality of Customer Experience: The largest opportunity for differentiation lies in customer experience, an area that has been deemed ‘essential’ by consumers in the era of Covid-19. The two themes of this research were firstly in the importance of recognising and rewarding loyal consumers, and secondly, the mandatory investment in technology such as grocery delivery, click-and-collect, personalised offers and the ability to check stock.
  • Rapid Response to Consumer Trends Needed: It is an undeniable truth that consumers continue to increase their expectations from product and service providers. This has profoundly increased the ‘voice of the customer’, making it imperative for brands and retailers to listen and react quickly. This research revealed frustrations over a lack of sustainable packaging, ‘made at home’ sections, dietary-specific aisles and ultimately, an unquenchable thirst for more choice.

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