Irish shoppers leaving it late for Christmas groceries

Four in ten shoppers say having enough money is their biggest concern over Christmas, and are subsequently employing various tactics to save money on the Christmas grocery bill, according to Nielsen 



22 December 2017

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Nearly three-quarters of Irish shoppers have been leaving their main Christmas grocery shop until this week, with nearly one in four leaving it as late as Friday or the weekend, according to Nielsen.

The analyst predicted today (Friday, 22 Dec) would be the biggest grocery shopping day of the year, with one in five (19%) doing their main Christmas grocery shop today.

However, despite a bumper week for grocery retailers, shoppers say they’re planning to spend less on Christmas groceries this year. Fifteen percent of shoppers say they’ll spend a lot less than last year, compared to only 2% say who say they’ll spend a lot more. Meanwhile, 20% report spending a bit less, and 15% who say they will spend a bit more.

“It’s not surprising that people are saying they’ll cut back, nearly two-thirds of shoppers worry about money at Christmas, while four in ten say having enough money is their biggest concern over Christmas,” said Matt Clark, Nielsen’s commercial director in Ireland.“Consequently, shoppers will be employing various tactics to save money on the Christmas grocery bill.”

For instance, 35% will use loyalty card vouchers or points they’ve saved up, 25% will cherry-pick products from different supermarkets depending on prices. Thirty percent will employ similar tactics in a discounter and 15% say they’ll do their main Christmas grocery shop at a discounter. Fifteen percent are planning a cross-border shop in Northern Ireland, most commonly for alcohol.

Clark says that because of the late shopping and cost-cutting trend, it’s “imperative for brand owners to remain focused on maximising the sales opportunity in this final week.” To achieve the “highest possible return, products need to be available at maximum distribution from Wednesday to Saturday.”

Despite the cost-cutting, Clark points out there’s still an opportunity for retailers as un-planned purchases is high this time of year – almost 70% of shoppers say they’ll buy something they wouldn’t normally buy if it is on promotion, while 54% say they’re more impulsive when doing the Christmas grocery shop, buying things they wouldn’t normally buy.

These probably contribute to the fact that 43% of shoppers report buying too much food in their Christmas shop.

The early signs indicated that it’s going to be a particularly good Christmas for the alcohol and confectionery sectors, which saw consumer spend increase 4.2% and 4.0%, respectively, year-on-year to 3 December 2017.



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