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Waitrose study finds “price-savvy” shoppers more likely to buy reduced food at supermarkets

PUBLISHED: 10:29 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:29 01 November 2017

The Eaton branch of Waitrose.

The Eaton branch of Waitrose. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The stigma of buying “reduced” food is disappearing as shoppers are keen to score a bargain, a supermarket has claimed.

More than half (53%) of consumers buy from the reduced section more often than they did five years ago, with the figure rising to 68% among 18 to 24-year-olds, a survey for Waitrose found.

Around a quarter (26%) believe there is no longer a stigma attached to buying reduced food, while 37% say they hate seeing food go to waste.

The upmarket grocer’s annual Food and Drink Report says Britain has become “a nation of agile, price-savvy value-hunters”, with three quarters (67%) of shoppers saying they are better at getting a good deal than they were five years ago.

The report says: “Our survey found that we’re not afraid to hunt out special offers or buy food from the ‘reduced’ shelf to save money.

“Customers enjoy exercising control over their budgets and tracking down the best deals.”

It adds: “There is no snobbishness about mixing and matching between brands or budget ranges, using our increased knowledge to get the best deal.

“It’s less about saving money, and more about not wasting it.”

However, it seems that certain products are still sacrosanct.

The poll found Britons are resistant to compromising on meat, wine, chocolate, coffee and toilet rolls, with the report noting: “If we do need to make cutbacks, we’re more likely to reduce the amount we buy, rather than choose a lower quality.”

The survey also found that 65% of Britons now visit a supermarket more than once a day on a regular or occasional basis.

The report said: “We no longer need to plan meals in advance as it’s so easy to shop for whatever we want at the last minute.

“A third of us don’t decide what to have for dinner until at least 4pm that day, with 11% of us making a selection just before we eat.”

The change in shopper behaviour has seen Waitrose moving to small, shallow trolleys as many customers move away from doing one big weekly shop.

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