A new report released today (October 21) from grocery multiple Waitrose uncovers key shopping, eating and drinking habits, based on millions of purchases in-store and online.
The study was researched throughout 2015. A series of in-depth focus groups in the summer were followed up with consumer research. Trends are supported with insight from Waitrose retail and food teams, as well as internal customer research and product sales.
The findings include the revelation that half of us now shop more like we’re on holiday; little and often, locally, and focusing on fresh food for that evening’s meal. In London, 40% of Waitrose sales are after 5pm, as people buy dinner on the way home. Three in 10 people now visit a supermarket three to four times a week – up from a quarter five years ago.
Two-thirds of shoppers admit to being overwhelmed by the choice available generally – whether informal dining, music streaming or TV on demand. In response, we are setting our own boundaries by, for example, keeping certain nights free to eat together, or banning mobile phones at the table. Overall, mealtimes are more casual than ever: one in seven families use their dining room less than they used to, and a quarter eat outside more. This is reflected in sales of ‘grazing’ options in Waitrose shops, which have surged by 23% this year.
When it comes to health, eight in 10 of us no longer like to be told what’s healthy and what’s not. We are becoming our own experts, by researching diets to suit our lifestyles. Some 60% of us have set ourselves health rules this year. Of these, a quarter have committed to no alcohol during the week, 7.5% have tried the 5:2 diet, and a third have cut down sugar. Many are doing so by choosing mini versions of their favourites. whether ice creams or bottles of wine. Others have invested in a Nutribullet or a spiraliser. More than nine in 10 of us now believe in the saying ‘everything in moderation’.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “Our research has uncovered a fascinating phenomenon. In this ‘open all hours’ culture, two-thirds of us say we feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of choice available, and feel the need to re-impose boundaries when it comes to family life. In this report, we outline six key boundaries that have evolved and look at how people are, in different ways, replacing them with new ones.”
The report also takes a look at favourite products of the year and at a range of other trends including the most popular exported Waitrose foods (in Gibraltar, ’essential Waitrose’ cheese and onion crisps top shopping lists) and what your age may have to do with your favourite kitchen gadget.
Read more in the next issue of Housewares Magazine (November/December).