The announcement that coffee pods and microwave rice pouches have been added to the basket of goods used to measure inflation shows the importance of FMCG suppliers really understanding the motivation of time-poor, convenience-driven shoppers, according to category and shopper management specialist, Bridgethorne,

The Office for National Statistics declared coffee pods to be a “distinct and growing product”, whilst microwave rice, in both pouch and tray formats, has also been added to the basket as a reflection of the long-term trend towards prepared foods. Supermarket sales of coffee pods exceeded £100 million in 2014 as shoppers embraced the opportunity to make their own cappuccinos and lattes at home. Sales revenues from these products rose 52 per cent and volumes by 54 per cent to the equivalent of 310million cups*.

In recent years, the convenience sector, together with an increase in the number of those undertaking regular, smaller and weekly top-up grocery trips, has been the sector’s main growth area. In the last Bridgethorne Shopper Index, an on-going survey that tracks shopper opinions, when asked about their likely future shopping behaviour shoppers said they would be more likely to be using convenience stores than larger, out of town supermarkets by a margin of +6.1 compared to -5.5 respectively.

“Today’s shoppers are more time-poor than ever and are becoming increasingly open to buying products that will help them make the most of their time and from channels that meet their shopping needs better, such as convenience and on-line,” says John Nevens, Joint Managing Director, Bridgethorne.

“As suppliers and retailers grapple for shopper loyalty in a climate of rapidly changing and diverging lifestyles, getting to grips with what a time-poor shopper really wants is essential. Offering products that meet the need for quick and easy solutions, available where the shopper wants to see them, delivers repeat purchase week on week, which in turn can foster better supplier-retailer relationships as both parties enjoy increased sales,” he adds.

The Bridgethorne Shopper Index is a quarterly survey of shopper behaviour, satisfaction, loyalty and future propensity to purchase as well as offering space on topical questions placed by FMCG suppliers. The company has developed a series of approaches that help supplier organisations address all aspects of Shopper Management enriched by their new Shopper Research service. Areas they address range from shopper understanding, through strategy and planning right up to activation and evaluation.


* Source: IRI