Shoppers scrap weekly shops in favour of spontaneity

October 17, 2015 by The Co-operative Food CovenienceReport_spotlight

Five years ago, it was the norm for families to do a big supermarket shop on the weekend. However, as our latest convenience report suggests, shoppers are now turning to local convenience stores in favour of spontaneity, mid-week top ups and last-minute buys.

By comparing shopping behaviours in 2015 to those in the past, our latest report – “Mission impulse”- highlights how many modern shoppers are deciding what to eat on the day rather than planning meals days and weeks in advance. This shift towards impulse means that we’re becoming less reliant on weekly planning in favour of spontaneous dining and last-minute meal decisions, making convenience stores the ideal place to shop.

The report suggests that there are several reasons for these changes – including a 5% increase in single households in the last 10 years, along with longer working hours and the desire to reduce food waste. With this is mind, many shoppers are turning to convenience stores to shop ‘for tonight’ or for the next couple of days, rather than for the week ahead.

While shopping habits are changing, so are the products we’re buying. With innovation introducing meal kits, smaller cuts of meat, pre-packed steamed vegetables and other meal solutions, it is now also possible to produce a balanced and nutritious meal without planning and spending hours in the kitchen.

As Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, Retail explains:

“The idea of planning and eating three square meals a day are a thing of the past. Today many people who live very busy lives decide what to eat just a few hours in advance and will visit their local store looking for inspiration and easy to prepare food.

“Our report, the second in our series, highlights how social and lifestyle developments have changed consumers’ attitudes towards weekly meal planning and how a shift in purchase behaviours has led to the development of products in response to this consumer trend.”

For more information, read our latest convenience report.

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