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Friday 23 February 2018

Savvy shoppers opt for cheaper goods – except baby food

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

CONSUMERS are trading down their toilet paper and biscuits but trading up when it comes to baby milk.

A new survey for 'Checkout' magazine found that cashstrapped consumers are on the hunt for better value on most grocery products.

However, bargain hunting goes out the window when it comes to formula milk and baby food where parents are still not keen on cheapie alternatives.

Household products – such as detergent and cleaning items – is the area where most of us try to save our hard-earned cash with 67pc of shoppers saying they were more likely to trade down for these and only one in 100 willing to trade up.

Toilet rolls were also an area for savings with 57pc trading down, according to the survey of 500 shoppers by Behaviour & Attitudes.

Some 63pc of us are looking for savings on the biscuit aisle by trading down to cheaper makes, but when it came to crisps, soft drinks and wine more people planned to stick with their existing choices.

Only two in every 100 consumers said they'd be prepared to trade down to cheaper baby formula – whereas 30pc said they'd be prepared to trade up.

Baby food also appeared to command brand loyalty with only one in eight willing to trade down and most either sticking with existing choices or trading up to more expensive ones.


Beer was an area with some growth as 7pc of consumers said they were willing to trade up – a fact attributed to the surge in popularity of craft beers over the last couple of years.

One in three consumers said they were more likely to trade down for fresh fruit and vegetables.

'Checkout' editor Stephen Wynne-Jones said that the "promotion-hungry mindset shows no signs of dissipating" but this study showed that consumers were willing to spend a bit more on things that mattered the most.

Behaviour & Attitudes director Martha Fanning noted that parents were willing to trade down on some baby items, but not others.

"Interestingly, it is on food and formula where parents are willing to spend more, rather than baby wipes for instance, suggesting that the myriad of offers on wipes are motivating," she said.

Irish consumers have dramatically increased spending on own-brand items since the recession began, according to industry figures.

Industry analysts Nielsen estimate that close to a quarter of Irish grocery purchases are now own-brand items rather than branded goods which are generally more expensive.

More and more shoppers have switched to Aldi and Lidl who sell primarily own-brand groceries, or opted for supermarket private labels which now include many premium ranges.

Irish Independent

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