Consumers look for value in the UK

20 April 2009

LONDON: Almost two-thirds of UK consumers have reduced their spending levels in the downturn, and over half plan to make further cutbacks in the immediate future, according to a survey by Booz & Company.

Among the longer-term predictions for consumer behaviour in the UK are increased levels of "trading up" for luxury brands and "trading down" for bargains, as well as quality and ethics becoming more important over time.

Based on a poll of 1,800 consumers, Booz & Co. also found that 63% of British shoppers have decreased their outlay as a result of the recession, and 51% are keen to find more ways of doing so.

Thus far, 57% of respondents now eat out less, with 55% buying fewer new clothes, and 47% purchasing less personal care and beauty products.

In terms of food shopping, 28% of participants say they plan to spend less, but 25% expect they will have to increase their outlay as a result of "food inflation," and as they are not eating out as much.

Some 45% of shoppers intend to visit hard discount chains like Aldi and Lidl more frequently, compared with 46% hoping to make fewer visits to grocery stores.

However, 47% of those surveyed by Booz & Co. foresee that they will increase the amount of shopping they do in-store rather than online in an effort to take advantage of promotions.

A total of 61% of participants said they would "trade down" on household products, a figure falling to 51% for confectionary and snacks and 52% for soft drinks.

By contrast, 63% of consumers will not trade down on their favourite tea and coffee brands, with 61% saying the same for baby food and 56% for alcohol.

Data sourced from Nam News; additional content by WARC staff