Channel Pulse: It’s all about confidence (that you can get what you need)

Our second round of data from Channel Pulse – our brand new weekly measure of shopper and consumer behaviour across all UK food and drink channels – is in, giving us our first opportunity to compare week-on-week.  Here we share some of the headlines from this latest update.

Familiarity loses importance as a driver to store

Unsurprisingly, in store grocery retail has grown its share at three out of four day-parts – with only breakfast seeing a modest decline. Grocery delivery has seen an increase at this day-part, confirming that the majority of meals continue to be consumed in home. 

Although familiarity, i.e. “it’s where I usually go”, remains the number one driver to a particular store across all four day-parts,  the proportion of shoppers citing it as a key driver has declined compared to the week before. Familiarity is the top need for around half of shoppers, however, this is down 6pp at dinner, 5pp at breakfast and lunch and 3pp at the snack day-part.

Given the unprecedented nature of the current shopping experience, such as having to queue to get into store, implementation of social distancing measures and potential out of stocks, shoppers may consider different stores and channels than they might under ‘normal’ circumstances. Price continues to be a key driver of store choice and this may well grow, depending on how long lockdown continues, with shoppers keeping a closer eye on expenses.

Confidence is the fastest growing shopper need

Confidence, demonstrated by the motive “I knew they would have what I want”, is the fastest growing need for grocery shopping – increasing its share at lunch, dinner and snack. Shoppers are making decisions based on which stores they believe will have stock, which offers an opportunity for smaller operators with good availability to claim front of mind.

Foodservice delivery is polarising

Many of the major players in the foodservice delivery channel, such as McDonald’s and KFC, have shut their operations completely. As a result, the channel is missing a large chunk of volume. Foodservice delivery has seen growth within smaller day-parts, snack and breakfast, but has lost share at its biggest day-parts, with a fall of -0.3pp at dinner and 0.4pp at lunch.

Despite strong increases in usage of foodservice delivery expected from younger consumers, we expect a small negative swing next week, driven predominantly by older consumers who say they plan to reduce their usage as they look to mitigate external contact as much as possible.

Some foodservice delivery operators, such as Deliveroo and Just Eat have bucked this trend and are either maintaining their position or succeeding in attracting new consumers. Deliveroo for instance has seen a 5pp increase in the volume of consumers ordering through its platform. Just Eat maintained its volume week-on-week, with over half of foodservice delivery consumers ordering through its platform.

Supermarkets to be the main beneficiaries in the coming week

In our Channel Pulse survey, we ask consumers if they expect to use each food and drink channel more, less or the same in the coming week.

Convenience stores, supermarkets and online retailers are expected to continue to see increased usage in the next week, with supermarkets benefiting the most. Whilst there is strong desire for online deliveries many shoppers have been put off by limited availability of delivery slots as retailers struggle to meet demand for their online services.


Your question, our expertise

Using our Channel Pulse data, we are able to answer your shopper and consumer trends questions across all UK food and drink channels. Submit your question here and one of our experts will be in touch to help you answer it.