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Christmas food and drink spending to grow by 1.2% as savvy shopping habits stick

Only three in ten shoppers plan to do a ‘big Christmas shop’ this year despite the fact that festive food and drink spending is expected to rise by 1.2% to £20 billion.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Christmas food and drink spending to grow by 1.2% as savvy shopping habits stick

Only three in ten shoppers plan to do a ‘big Christmas shop’ this year despite the fact that festive food and drink spending is expected to rise by 1.2% to £20 billion.

According to new research by food and grocery research charity IGD, most people are intending to spread their shopping across a number of grocery formats and trips, with 52% preferring to use a number of different stores and many of them doing so to secure the best prices. A quarter of shoppers also told IGD that they intend to ‘cherry pick’ this year in an effort to get the best products from a diverse range of stores.

IGD is expecting food discounters to be the fastest growing part of the UK grocery market this Christmas with their share of the market to be worth around £1.5 billion. The research found that seven out of ten shoppers said they are going to use discounters, 6% of which said they would be trying them for the first time.

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “Some of the interesting reasons beyond cost that shoppers tell us they’re going to use discounters at Christmas include a quarter (26%) saying they’d like to try new and different products, while nearly one in ten (8%) say they would like to buy something that was recommended to them.”

IGD is also forecasting that the online grocery channel will be worth just over £1 billion in sales, making it the second fastest growing grocery format this Christmas. The research found that some 46% of shoppers are planning to buy some of their festive food and groceries online. Denney-Finch attributed this to there being more click and collect options available this year and to more people paying for online subscription delivery passes.

Denney-Finch said: “Even at Christmas, shoppers are still looking for ways to help manage their finances. As we’ve seen over the rest of this year, the big weekly shop is in decline – and this is no different at Christmas.  

“With three out of ten (28%) shoppers saying they’ve only recently started buying their Christmas food and groceries, and a fifth saying they’re going to leave it to the week before Christmas…and even 7% telling us they’re leaving it to the last minute (22nd to 24th), there’s still plenty of opportunity for all different types of food retailing to influence shoppers in the lead-up to the big day.”  

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