LONDON: Price is not the major factor in purchasing decisions for two thirds of European grocery shoppers, according to a new study which argues that brands and retailers need to appreciate how shopper types vary by market across the continent.

Kantar Media's TGI Europa study of shoppers in the UK, Germany, France and Spain identified a number of different shopper types, two of which – Strategic Savers and Promiscuous Purchasers – were driven by price. But these accounted for only around one third of all shoppers.

"When sales are under threat cutting prices is seen by many as a quick fix, but the reality is that it will probably only sway a minority of shoppers," said Anne Benoist, Director, Kantar Media TGI.

"Marketers need to adopt a multi-pronged approach to maximise the opportunities in FMCG shopping and to be mindful that between countries, the proportion of different shopper types can fluctuate greatly."

The study found that German shoppers were especially likely to be Strategic Savers, driven by low prices. They accounted for 21% of all German shoppers, a higher proportion than in other, more economically challenged markets. In Spain, for example, Strategic Savers made up 15% of shoppers, while the figure rose to 17% for both France and the UK.

Spain did, however, have an especially high proportion of Promiscuous Purchasers, a price-conscious group with an extensive brand repertoire who seek to keep costs down while not compromising on quality.

And Spanish consumers also retained an eye for premium items, with an above average proportion of shoppers – 20% vs 17% average – classified as Quality Crusaders, consumers driven by quality and willing to pay a premium for it.

The UK was the only other country to overindex on Quality Crusaders, with 23% of shoppers there meriting this description.

British shoppers were also the least ethical, with just 6% classed as Ethical Empathisers, compared to the average of 9%. Germany (12%) and Spain (11%) had the most ethical consumers.

For French consumers, convenience was very important. Compared to other countries, France had proportionately around twice as many Convenience Kings, driven by anything that makes shopping more convenient e.g. locality, opening hours, parking etc.

The final group of Conscious Connoisseurs – people who are passionate about food – was also the smallest, accounting for just 7% of shoppers. Most were to be found in Germany.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff