Is the meal for one being maximised?

Jennifer PrattJennifer Pratt, Insights Manager

him! ShopWaves tracks UK shopping habits across all channels, on a quarterly basis, to identify which missions are driving spend and frequency within convenience and other channels. The latest results show that shoppers are continuing to use the convenience channel to purchase their “meal for tonight”, but less are using this channel to “top-up” on groceries.

More shoppers are now using discounters to do their top-up shopping than convenience (71% vs. 65% in the most recent wave of research). We would have expected this to flip during the summer months, when hot weather usually means that shoppers value time-saving over cost.  This was not the case this year, with discounters still being the favoured choice for top-up. However, 1 in 4 shoppers used convenience stores to purchase their meal for tonight, more than the supermarkets or discounters. This mirrors the results of our Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP) which highlights the year-on-year shift in share of trade spend in convenience: 24p in every £ spent in convenience is now spent on meal occasions (food-to-go or meal for tonight), with top-up spend losing out proportionally.

With meal occasions being the clear growth driver of spend in convenience, we use ShopWaves to identify how consumers plan their purchase, so that convenience retailers and suppliers can ensure their offer matches shopper expectations. One opportunity that we don’t believe is currently maximised in convenience is the meal-for-one occasion: ShopWaves shows that an average of 6.5 times in the last 14 days, a shopper prepared and ate an evening meal for just themselves – that is almost every second day. Shoppers value convenient solutions that don’t incur wastage, so ensure that there are pack formats and offers that suit the “for-one” shopper to maximise spend on this meal occasion.

For more information, on this ShopWaves report just get in touch! 



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