Post-recession shoppers are changing their attitudes to brands

Rod Street
SymphonyIRI Group

Europe is now entering its sixth year of economic turbulence and this is changing shoppers' attitudes to brands, possibly forever.

Across Europe, shoppers are concerned about household finances and 73%, according to the most recent shopper survey from SymphonyIRI Group, believe that the economic situation is worse in their country than a year ago. More than half believe that their own personal economic circumstances have deteriorated.

There are limited signs of optimism for the future: 61% think the financial downturn will worsen in 2013 while 41% think their personal finances will decline.

At the same time, grocery prices are still rising quickly – from 2% to 4% across Europe in the first six months of 2012 – as the cost of raw materials soars and retailers and brands try to reclaim margins.  

Planning and buying less

Consumers are adapting to the squeeze on their household budgets by taking control and buying more carefully, cutting back, trading down, buying more retailers' own labels and reducing the frequency of purchase.