Quality is the fastest-growing shopper need, yet price remains either the primary or secondary need across all dayparts, according to HIM and MCA Insight’s latest Channel Pulse findings  - a measure of weekly shopper and consumer behaviour across all UK food and drink channels. 

Quality as a key shopper need increased 2% at breakfast, 4% at dinner and 4% at snack time. Quality is the third most important shopper need at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

However, despite this growing demand for quality, price remains an increasingly important shopper need and is in the top two across all dayparts. Price-savvy shoppers who seek out promotions are feeling the pinch. In the w/c 23 March 2020, 28% of shoppers had noticed price increases and 22% had noticed a reduction in promotions.

With lockdown measures extended, shoppers are keeping a watchful eye on their expenditure and many are noticing a reduction in promotions. However, as consumer adjust to cooking more at home, their need for higher standards in their everyday meals will increase. As a result, shoppers are more likely to select a retailer based on the perceived quality of their range.

Other headlines from week four include:

1. Visit frequency and shopper loyalty remained stable week-on-week.

2. Newsagent is the second most common mission within convenience stores, accounting for 19% of all trips – up from 14% the week before.

3. The proportion of baskets containing news and mags within convenience has nearly doubled week-on-week – 15% up from 8% the previous week.

4. Purchases of chilled and fresh products increase in supermarkets, so too do frozen products as shoppers prepare for three more weeks of lockdown.

Blonnie Walsh, head of Insight at HIM & MCA Insight said: “Quality is becoming increasingly important to shoppers; however, shoppers don’t want to compromise on price. With lockdown measures extended, consumers are settling into new routines and cooking more meals at home. As they adapt to this, we start to see old behaviours creep back, such as a need for quality produce. An increase in promotions is a great way of satisfying the balance between quality and price, as well as help attract footfall from competitors.”