Grocery supply chains face change to meet demand

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The recession is not just changing shopping habits in the short-term – there are clear long term implications for grocery supply chains, according to new consumer research by grocery analysts IGD.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some 22 per cent of consumers said the would be shopping more online by 2012. But 26 per cent said they would be shopping more at farmers’ markets and 23 per cent said they would be doing more shopping at specialist stores. Discount stores will also benefit with 29 per cent shopping there more.

More than half said they would be more careful about spending money in the future than they are currently, regardless of economic recovery. Only five per cent predicted that they would be more frivolous.

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The results of the survey were unveiled at the IGD Centenary Convention in London. Chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “Shoppers expect to be more careful in making their choices than today… Shopper predictions don’t always come to pass and companies can always redirect trends by responding in new ways to consumer needs, but shoppers are saying that the tide of change is only just underway. It’s a challenge for the food industry but also a big opportunity. The more value companies can add, the stronger shopper loyalty will be.”

By 2012 about 37 per cent of shoppers expect to be buying more local and regional food, while 34 per cent will be looking for more food that meets high animal welfare standards and 31 per cent expect to buy more Fairtrade products.

Healthy eating is also on the agenda with 15 per cent expecting to buy more organic foods by 2012 and 36 per cent thinking they will eat more fruit and vegetables in the future.

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