Channel Pulse: Return of the Snack, as Consumers Shop Close to Home

Week three of Channel Pulse – our new weekly measure of consumer and shopper behaviour across all UK food and drink channels - has landed, allowing us to explore how shopper and consumer trends have evolved since lockdown started. Here are some of the headlines:

Consumers are snacking more

Snacking occasions are growing their share of meals, from 16.7% to 17.1% this week, whilst lunch declines, as consumers continue to adjust to new routines. The in-store grocery channel saw its share of the snack day-part increase, suggesting shoppers are visiting stores to satisfy their snacking needs.

Despite an increase in share of snacking, grocery in-store saw its share of lunch and dinner decline compared with the previous week. In contrast, out-of-home delivery has increased its share at lunch and dinner as consumers turn to foodservice operators as a “treat”. This is the number one reason for ordering foodservice delivery and has increased by 3pp this week. Other top motivations: “laziness” and “no time to cook” have also increased week-on-week.

Proximity grows in importance

More shoppers are choosing where to go based on the convenience of the store location. Proximity, as a reason for choosing a given store, is in the top 3 needs at breakfast and snack. As lockdown measures look set to continue, shoppers are rightly opting not to travel far to get the products that they need.

Familiarity i.e. “It’s where I usually go”, remains the top reason for choosing a particular store across all day-parts, as shoppers try and maintain a routine throughout these unpredictable times.

Big players return to delivery

Following the closure of many of the largest operators in the foodservice delivery space, the channel has been missing volume. However, several of the nationwide operators have announced that they are starting to offer delivery again in some capacity. This includes Burger King and KFC which will be available on Deliveroo. In the coming week, we expect to see a small positive swing (+4%) for food delivery/takeaway, driven by younger consumers.

In-store retailers expected to benefit from online delivery demand outstripping availability

In the coming week, consumers expect to increase their usage of supermarkets (29%) and convenience stores (22%) in particular. Ongoing issues with online demand outstripping capacity means that the predicted growth of in store supermarkets and convenience stores continues to outpace online supermarket growth (19%). Use of discounters is expected to rise modestly (3%).

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.