Australians implement “tactical shopping” to cope with economic stress

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th September 2008

Pears

Australians are combating the increased living costs with ‘tactical shopping’; buying seasonal fruit when it’s at its best price and buying in bulk, according to the results of the Australian Pears Consumer Fruit Index.

The Consumer Fruit Index polled more than 1100 grocery buyers throughout August on behalf of the Australian pear industry. It discovered that 83% of Australians have noticed an increase in the cost of fruit and vegetables over the past 12 months, with 80% believing buying in-season fruit can save money.

“The survey results indicate a return to the ways of our grandmothers who knew the value of eating fruit at the peak of the season when both its flavour and price is at its best,” noted Tony Russell, General Manager of Apple and Pear Australia Ltd. “Although Australian pears are available all year, pears are now in-season so available in bulk and reasonably priced.”

Forty per cent of Australians spend $31-$50 each week on fruit and vegetables alone and the belief that in-season product can save money is not a myth, according to Mr Russell. “We estimate that Australians could reduce their weekly fruit and veg bill by a substantial 20% if they shopped for in-season fruit and vegetables,” he said.

The Consumer Fruit Index revealed 60% of Australians now buy in bulk to save money on their weekly groceries, with Mr Russell outlining that consumers are discovering bulk buying is often a more cost effective way to shop. “Grocery shoppers can save money on fruit by applying an ‘eat now/eat later’ selection strategy,” he suggested. “Simply choose a mix of ready-to-eat pears for immediate eating along with yet-to-ripen pears that will last longer.”

Despite the rising cost of living, Australians remain committed to a healthy lifestyle, with 90% rejecting the notion that they would cut back on buying fruit and vegetables. A quarter of Australians are reducing takeaway dinners and eating out, with a third limiting their purchases of ‘brand name’ products.