Valassis 2021

European Grocery Shopper Research, 2021 – by Valassis

As the leader in CPG promotions, Valassis Europe is regularly asked questions by clients, partners and the market about promotions – who uses them, in which environments, what impact do they have, etc.  As our platform powers promotions all across Europe – connecting brands, shoppers and retailers in over 20 markets – we spoke to shoppers to find out.

The research was facilitated by Kadence International, with 4122 respondents across Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK answering the same ~10 minute survey.  Respondents were a nationally representative sample of adult grocery shoppers who have used promotions when purchasing grocery in last 12 months.  Questions sought to understand grocery shopping behaviours, promotion usage, attitudes towards promotions including expectations, frustrations and impact on future shopping behaviour.

The results show there are more similarities than differences in behaviours, with some unique behaviours along the way.  Most consistent are the changes in behaviours and attitudes between generations.

This summary document contains data and insight at the aggregate level for all four countries.  If you’d like to read the full report for the UK or any of the other markets surveyed and discuss how it might impact your business, please contact info@valassis.co.uk

Key findings

Where people shop

In all countries the common deonominator is that almost everyone uses an in store channel for grocery.  Supermarkets dominate, with some differences between markets.  Italy, for example, use convenience and independent stores as a primary in store channel more than other markets.

Where people use online for grocery shopping we see larger differences.  The UK has the highest rate of online as a primary channel, and within this the reliance on online supermarkets is highest.  In Spain and Germany, where a similar number of shoppers use online – albeit not as primary channel – the prevalence of Amazon is higher.

In all countries and across all generations and genders respondents stated that in store is where they are more likely to discover new things and buy things for the first time.

Promotion usage

In all markets grocery shoppers actively seek out promotions more than those who passively use them and usage has grown in the 12 months prior to research taking place in all markets.

Most respondents said they would be willing to share personal information with a brand in return for a reward or discount with only 15% disagreeing.  74% were willing to share their email address.

Promotion types

Retail loyalty program and Store discount on product are the most used promotions types in all markets. The use of retail loyalty schemes (and preference to use them) decreases amongst younger generations.  This is opposite to the use and preference to use mobile coupons.  Connecting brand funded mobile coupons to loyalty programs is an opportunity for retailers to acquire and engage the younger shoppers.

90% of respondents said they would return packaging to a store or to the brand in return for an incentive.  49% would be prompted to do so by a discount on a replacement product.

Promotion discovery

In store media are amongst the most popular ways for shoppers to discover promotions.  Amongst younger generations in all countries the use of digital means, including search and social are on the rise, as too is the use of word-of-mouth with friends and family, indicating promotions have a brand value over and above redemption and sale.

Impact of not accepting promotions

2 in 5 respondents claimed to have switched store, or stated they have not but would switch grocery store if they are unable to redeem a specific promotion.

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