Supermarket products: Important drawcards for Australian shoppers, Roy Morgan research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd October 2013

Supermarket shoppers in Australia are more concerned about food safety than the proximity of a store to their homes, good value, trading hours or the quality and range of fresh fruits and vegetables, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

Over half (57 per cent) of grocery buyers aged over 14 years cited food safety standards as a very important factor when deciding where to shop, followed by whether the store was near to home or good value (both 55 per cent).

Hygienically prepared food and a clean and tidy environment were each very important to 53 per cent of shoppers. The quality of fresh produce ranked alongside convenient trading hours and low prices at 52 per cent, but more shoppers placed high importance on easy parking (51 per cent) than the range of fresh fruit and vegetables (47 per cent).

Other factors further down the list included clean and functional trolleys (43 per cent), range of brands (42 per cent), weekly specials (41 per cent), and being able to buy everything in a particular store (37 per cent).

Perhaps surprisingly, less than one in four grocery buyers said discounts for regular shoppers or petrol discounts were a central reason they choose a particular supermarket.

“With Aldi soon to open in South Australia and Western Australia, Costco planning five new stores across Australia by the end of 2014, and Metcash undergoing a strategic review of its wholesale trading terms, the supermarket industry will see increased competition in the next 24 months,” said Warren Reid, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

Not all shoppers the same

Roy Morgan Research said understanding customers and the factors they say are important when choosing a supermarket will be even more critical in the next 24 months.

“Not all shoppers have the same priorities,” Mr Reid said. “For example, food and hygiene factors rank high for Coles and Woolworths shoppers, price and value for Aldi, and convenience for IGA. Therefore, growth strategies for each supermarket should take these differences into account,” he said.

According to Roy Morgan research, these differences can be seen in its new classification system, ‘Helix Personas’.

“It’s the ‘Leading Lifestyles’ and ‘Today’s Families’ communities that are most concerned about food safety standards, while those in the ‘Metrotech’ community of educated urban professionals prioritise convenience,” Mr Reid said.

Australian supermarket shoppers value food safety most