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CHICAGO - While many consumers are shifting spending to supercenters, they still prefer to purchase meat and produce from the grocery store, according to a new study from Information Resources Inc., provider of consumer behavior insights to the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.
The study, IRI Insights on Channel Differentiation, also concludes that convenience continues to be a major factor in determining where consumers shop and that channel differentiation is evident in consumer expectations of each outlet.
Supercenters gained roughly five million new customers in 2001, cannibalizing both shopping trips and dollars spent at the grocery outlet. However, consumers expressed a clear preference for grocery stores' meat and produce departments.
Fifty-four percent of shoppers said they prefer the convenience of getting all their shopping done under one roof -- but convenience means different things to different people. Supercenter shoppers, for example, find convenience in getting the low prices on a wide variety of products, without going to multiple stores. They don't mind the longer drive to the store and they enjoy taking their time shopping. Alternatively, less price-sensitive consumers find convenience in shopping the grocery/drug combination store closest to home, where they can pick up food and health/beauty products in the same trip and minimize the total time invested in shopping.
Channel differentiation is evident in consumer expectations of each outlet. Out of 18 store attributes, convenient store location was rated most important to grocery shoppers, presumably because of the frequency of trips, approximately 1-2 times per week, and their desire to get fresh and frozen foods home quickly. In contrast, their primary expectation of mass merchandisers is good value because of their size and price-focused advertising campaigns.
The IRI study is based on channel trends from IRI's retail sales and household panel tracking services, examining consumer attitudes and shopping behavior across grocery store, drugstore, mass merchandiser, and supercenter channels of trade. It features findings from a survey of IRI's household panel regarding attitudes about shopping, expectations of each channel, and satisfaction with 47 different retailers across 16 metropolitan markets.