MADRID: Consumers in Spain are continuing to adopt a variety of different strategies as they respond to the challenges of the economic downturn.

According to figures from Kantar Worldpanel, FMCG sales in the country climbed by 0.5% over the year to June in volume terms, but fell by 2.9% by value.

One of the primary new trends can be seen in the finding that 14.2% of households have now purchased consumer goods online.

The average expenditure through the ecommerce channel is 6% higher than the norm across all retail formats.

Elsewhere, growing numbers of shoppers are regularly saving so they can invest in particularly desirable acquisitions, rather than out of necessity.

Issues relating to sustainability are also gaining ground, with a third of main grocery buyers opting for brands tagged as Fairtrade.

Based on an assessment of current habits in Spain, the research company suggested that a range of identifiable groups are starting to emerge.

The “e-consumers”, who make up 12.8% of the population, regularly use the internet at home and work, and frequently employ the channel to purchase a broad selection of products.

Another cluster is the “opportunists“ - 9.4% of the potential audience - defined as people seeking to find promotions and comparing prices in a bid to get the best possible deal.

The 10.2% of “fans” consist of middle class households with children placing an emphasis on loyalty cards, while the 10.7% of “families under pressure” have seen budgets come under heightened strain.

Younger shoppers interested in being green, and who thus prefer organic and fairtrade brands, account for 11.9% of footfall in stores, but have also cut back their outlay.

Elsewhere, environmental enthusiasts over 50 years of age should be an especially attractive proposition for marketers.

This is because they boast 20% more spending power than the typical customer, contribute a fifth of FMCG sales and represent 23.5% of grocery buyers.

Finally, “healthiers” - 11.6% of the population - are middle class families that are keen to obtain fresh products to ensure they stay in shape.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff