Grocery Retailing and Consumer Trends in the UK

The new report “Grocery Retailing and Consumer Trends in the UK” is the result of research firm Canadean’s extensive online consumer survey and industry research program. The report is data-driven and provides a rich array of data analysis on the UK grocery market. The report not only provides detailed value and volume data, but also Private Brand coverage and data on the key consumer trends affecting the market.

Why was the report written?
Marketers in the UK grocery market face changing consumption patterns as a result of demographic changes, uncertain economic conditions and evolving technology. This makes it essential to not only understand the current state of the market, but to also quantify the impact of consumer trends, providing a spotlight on what consumption decisions are being made and why. This report solves these problems by providing integrated survey-based data for Alcoholic Drinks, Beverages, Food, and Health & Beauty products which show value and volume retail sales data, relative brand and private label shares, retailer shares by product category (volume data), the value of different consumer groups, and quantifies the amount of the total market directly influenced consumer trends.

What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
The effects of a weak global economy and the following recovery have led consumers to closely examine their choice of retailer and products purchased. While country by country the effects have varied, no grocery retail market has been left totally untouched, creating a need to understand exactly who the end consumer audience is and what their main motivations are.

What makes this report unique and essential to read?
The report provides valuable, hard to get, consumer-survey based data (integrated with industry research) on the grocery market in the UK. It provides value and volume data for 146 product categories, Private Label penetration rates by category, and the value of the market directly influenced by Consumer Trends (which affects consumption choices). For two types of Private Label purchasers, trends affecting the reasons to purchase private labels are also shown. As the report focuses on end-consumers and not in-store shoppers, it provides a different perspective compared to other types of data, helping retailers to identify, which consumer groups they want to compete for in the future.

Key Features and Benefits

  • The report profiles 146 product categories across Alcoholic Drinks, Beverages, Food, and Health & Beauty in the UK, with value and volume data.
  • Data highlights Private Label penetration rates in 146 categories tracked by the survey and drivers of consumption choices
  • Leading total grocery retailer volume shares for all 146 categories.
  • The value of the total market each trend accounts for, showing the size of the prize for products able to hit specific consumer needs and desires. Strategically this helps to know what the main consumer trends are and therefore to update stocking policies accordingly.

Key Market Issues

  • The Food sector in the UK is highly consolidated with the top 4 retailers holding more than 80% share. In Alcoholic drinks, the Beer category has the highest level of consolidation among retailers, while Tequila and Still Wine have the lowest.
  • Private labels have a reasonably high share in the total Food markets accounting for more than one-fourth of the volume share. Conversely, in the Alcoholic drinks markets branded products leave very little scope for private labels. Therefore, in various Food categories like meat, fish & seafood, milk and pasta & noodles, Private label is squeezing the weaker brands in the market.
  • According to survey results, both Regular and Occasional Private label consumers quoted that the two most important driving factors influencing their consumption patterns are ”Better Value for Money’ and ’Busy Lives’. This implies that private label is not all about price but also about quick and easy choices.

Key Highlights

  • The total size of the Grocery Retail market in the UK exceeded USD200 billion in 2011, with the Food and Alcoholic drinks markets dominating.
  • Consumers in the ”Better Off’ wealth category contribute nearly 50% share by value to retailers’ sales. An age-wise analysis reveals that Older Consumers form nearly 30% share by value of total Grocery Retail sales.
  • The most important factor affecting Grocery Retail sales is ”Indulgence’, which influences nearly 16% of the total sales.

Get the report



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.