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It’s Back To The Future As Consumers Shun The Big Shop
Shoppers are turning their backs on the big shop and reverting to the buying habits of their grandparents.
A Co-operative Food report ‘Back to the Future’ compares and contrasts food shopping in 2015 with the mid-sixties and shows that less than half (48%) of today’s consumer’s now go shopping just once a week.
The Co-op’s Convenience Retailing highlights: · Millions are stepping back to the way consumers used to shop for food in the 60s before the advent of huge supermarkets and fridges, freezers and microwaves · The modern trend of shunning the big shop in favour of buying smaller amounts locally reflects exactly what was happening 50 years ago. · Almost half of shoppers now no longer do a big weekly shop, while more than a third have adopted a ‘grazing’ shopping mentality
Shopping baskets in 2015 compared to 1965 show a stark difference in diet and tastes, with more convenience food now compared to more basic ingredients which were used to make the foods from scratch. In 1965 the average basket would have contained butter, meat, milk, bread, sugar, flour, eggs as well as lard, suet and yeast. In 2015 consumers are more likely to have confectionary, yogurts and desserts, crisps and snacks, in store bakery products, bananas and energy drinks.
The amount consumers spend in proportion to their income has also fallen sharply. According to the ONS, today the average weekly expenditure is £517.30 with food and non-alcoholic drinks accounting for 11% of this expenditure at an average of £58.80. In 1965, families spent 23% of their income on food.
In the mid-sixties there were still individual butchers and greengrocers, many operated by the Co-op, and so grocery stores concentrated on selling food in packets and tins. Another big difference was there was very little alcohol sold because drink consumed at home was generally purchased at standalone off licences.
After the Second World War, the Co-op was the first to introduce the American idea of serving yourself but it was mid-1965 before the majority of its stores had been converted from the old fashioned counter service.
The report includes a plan of how a Co-op food store would have been laid out in the mid 1960’s, highlighting how many innovations introduced back then are still recognisable to 21st century consumers.
Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, Retail said: “After the war the Co-op pioneered relatively small self-service shops and we are again aiming to be the leading convenience operator in the UK.
“Our report shows what a typical newly-converted store would have looked like and, while today there is far more emphasis on fresh produce, many aspects of the layout are still familiar.
“In half a century much has changed while in many other ways little has altered. Many of the staples found in people’s shopping baskets in the 1960s remain, yet, there are new additions which reflect changing lifestyles and modern shopping habits.”
Britons Put On Weight After Skipping Meals Survey Reveals
A new survey has revealed just how busy Britons’ lives have become, disclosing a telling new statistic that the average Briton skips as many as 260 meals per year.
Breakfast is the most likely meal to get missed, with the majority of Britons confessing that they just don’t ‘have time to eat’ in the mornings.
The survey was conducted by Huel (www.huel.me), a nutritionally complete powdered food product, as part of their research into consumer habits and attitudes towards nutrition in the UK. 2,829 British adults took part in the survey, all of whom were aged 18 years old or older. All participants were all in full-time employment at the time of the survey.
Initially, all respondents were asked to identify how many meals they skipped in an average week, including Saturday and Sunday. They were able to provide the answer ‘0’ if relevant. The team calculated that the average respondent skipped 3 breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner per week.
Extended across the whole year, this would mean that the average Briton skips 260 meals per year; 156 of these being breakfasts, with a further 52 a piece for lunch and dinner.
All relevant respondents who stated they’d missed at least one meal per week were then asked to reveal all the reasons why. The most common answers were given as follows: 1. I don’t have time to eat – 82% 2. I forget to eat meals – 73% 3. I can’t be bothered to cook/prepare food – 68% 4. I am not very good at cooking/preparing food – 56% 5. I prefer to snack rather than eat meals – 41%
When asked if they had suffered any adverse effects from skipping meals, more than two thirds of respondents (68%) confessed they had. The majority of these felt they had ‘gained weight’ due to overcompensating after missing meals (57%), while some also felt ‘short-tempered and/or irritable’ (43%) and ‘generally less healthy’ (35%).
Julian Hearn, Founder of Huel, commented: “Food is a great thing which many of us enjoy – but in our everyday routines, we can’t always set aside time, attention and energy to dedicate to our mealtimes. On a typical weekday, it’s not unusual to just grab a coffee while dashing out the door or work through lunch without even realising. Our busy lifestyles, however, are not good for us. If we skip meals we often end up over-compensate later with sugary foods later as our energy levels sag.”
He continued: “We Britons are clued-up on what we should be doing and eating; we know what a healthy lifestyle looks like but, for many of us, it just doesn’t quite fit as much as we want it to. I found myself in those same shoes of wanting to put my health and body first, just not having the time or facilities to do so when I most needed to. This way of thinking is behind our whole venture, and it’s why I decided to come up with a new solution which would be 100% convenient and available on the go with minimal fuss.”
Gluten Free Leads “Free From” Surge Into Mainstream
Interest in free-from foods is continuing to rise globally, led by the growing availability of gluten-free lines in particular.
Products positioned on a gluten-free platform accounted for 10% of total global food and drinks launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of April 2015, rising to over 18% in the US.
“This is partly due to improved labelling regulations,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights “but also to rising awareness of gluten intolerance in the diet and the development of more mainstream and good-tasting gluten-free products across a whole range of food and drinks sectors.”
Key areas for activity in recent years have been in bakery and cereal products and snack foods, largely because of rising demand for alternatives to the relatively high number of gluten-containing lines in these sectors or because of the availability of alternative gluten-free ingredients.
The cereal products market, encompassing breakfast cereals and cereal bars, is relatively well set up to cater to the gluten-free trend, with numerous non-gluten cereal options already available. As a result of this and the relatively concentrated nature of the market, it is perhaps not surprising that the share of gluten-free launches in the cereals market is much higher than the average of the food and drinks market as a whole at 21%, rising to an amazing 43% in the US.
Interestingly, despite being one of the product categories most strongly associated with wheat and thus gluten, the bakery products sector has a slightly lower than average share of gluten-free launches recorded, at 9%, perhaps partly reflecting the diversity of the sector and the high levels of new product activity overall. The actual number of gluten-free bakery launches has nonetheless risen consistently in recent years. Biscuits account for the largest number of gluten-free bakery launches, with over 40%, equivalent to 8% of total biscuit introductions, while bread has less than 16% of gluten-free bakery launches, but this is equivalent to 9% of total bread introductions.
The snacks market is also seeing a relatively high proportion of launches featuring gluten-free claims, averaging 13% globally, but rising to over 42% in the US. In terms of product and market development, the snacks market benefits particularly from the fact that many basic snacks ingredients, such as potatoes, corn, soy and nuts, are naturally gluten-free, so it is a claim that is relatively easy to achieve in many instances. Ingredients used to replace wheat or other cereals and offer a gluten-free formulation over the past few years have included lentils, black beans, navy beans, cassava, brown rice, nuts, sweet potatoes and a wide variety of other vegetables.
Many other areas of the food and drinks market are also seeing rising levels of interest in gluten-free reformulations, or even in just emphasizing the gluten-free nature of existing lines.
“Gluten intolerance is no longer the only reason for buying gluten-free foods,” notes Williams. “Issues such as overall well-being, digestive health, weight management and nutritional value often deemed to be equally if not more important by consumers. With more labelling of gluten-free foods and the growing availability of a range of high quality products with a good sensory profile, the sector seems set to take further advantage of the huge potential market for this type of product,” she concludes.