30th November 2015
• Ireland’s Love Affair With Branded Food & Drink Continues –
Price no longer key driving factor in shopping habits
Love Irish Food today reveals the results of its annual Food Barometer, a body of research into the most up to date food & drink consumption habits of Irish shoppers. The research, which was commissioned by Love Irish Food, and conducted by Amarach Research was carried out among 1,000 adult respondents across Ireland in August 2015. All respondents were wholly or partially responsible for their households grocery shopping.
The key findings of the report are as follows:
• The love affair with brands continues among Irish shoppers. Those who claim to only buy or mostly buy brands, account for 43% of shoppers, with those who ‘seldom’ buy brands accounting for a mere 8% of shoppers. Those living in Dublin are far more likely to be ‘brand loyalists’ with 50% of respondents living in Dublin being self-determined brand loyalists, in that they ‘Only buy well known brands’. This compare to 21% in the rest of Leinster, 21 % in Munster and only 8% in both Connacht /Ulster, demonstrating this level of loyalty to branded goods.
• Leading on from this finding, in investigating buyer decisions with regards to shopping for branded products the key determinant is no longer price – the primary motivator among shoppers is now a composite of trust in the brand, country of origin & local provenance being the top priorities (35%), closely followed by product quality (25%), and then price (23%). We see that provenance, and product quality rather than price being the most important factors when all responses are combined, with 10% making purchase decisions based on ‘family appeal’ and a mere 6% buying certain products out of habit alone.
• When it comes to perennial food favourites and much loved brands, respondents were asked which well known Irish brands they believe will stand the test of time and remain on shelf in twenty years time, and the top ten brands were as follows:
Barry’s Tea (78%)
Of the top ten brands that people believe will still be available in 2035, at least 80% of these brands are produced here in Ireland with obvious exceptions being HB and Lyons Tea.
• When shoppers were questioned regarding their priorities family is more important to the main shopper than any other motivating factor, with 86% of shoppers agreeing with the statement that ‘family is more important to me than anything else’.
• When questioned about the regularity of eating a family meal together each week, the results show that a mere 11% fail to eat together as a family once a week or less. Conversely 89% of all families eating together at least 2-3 days a week. With the increasing prevalence of younger adults still living at home either as college students, or in work, this is a very positive indication given the well documented mental and health related benefits of eating together as a family regularly.
• When asked to predict the amount they are likely to spend on Christmas dinner this year, of the shoppers who only or mostly buy branded products, 75% of grocery shoppers with a view on this, believe that they will spend an average of €110 on the meal in 2015, with an extravagant 8% splashing out over €200 on Christmas dinner (figures exclude alcohol).
• Love Irish Food in conjunction with Kantar Worldpanel confirms that despite an average of almost 30,000 different products on shelf across grocery retailers, shoppers tend to remain loyal to certain brands and a rather limited array of repeated purchases in their weekly shop – with an average of only 78 different products purchased over any 12 week period throughout the year despite the staggering choice of products available, highlighting once again the loyalty displayed by Irish shoppers to certain much loved products!
In response to the research findings Kieran Rumley, Executive Director of Love Irish Food said “The overall grocery market is showing little growth year on year, due to the intense competition in the grocery market among the larger retailers. There is enormous value in Irish produced food brands, for shoppers. Our research findings demonstrate clearly that what people are looking for is no longer just price but rather their choices are driven to an even greater degree by trust in brands & their origin, quality and now, to a lesser extent, price”.
He continued “the Agri-food industry in Ireland currently provides direct & indirect employment for 220,000 with food and beverage manufacturing enterprises accounting for €26 billion of total turnover. Love Irish Food member brands alone employ approximately 30,000 people directly & indirectly with these jobs accounting for approximately €800m in wages and contributing over €250m per annum to the Irish exchequer. Love Irish Food exists to safeguard the future of branded food and drink manufacturing in Ireland”
Love Irish Food was launched in 2009 with 29 brands from a small number of companies. Today, Love Irish Food membership includes brands from over 70 different Irish companies. Recently added members include McCambridge’s Bread, McDonnells Sauces and Lakeshore (Boyne Valley Foods), Poulet Bonne Femme, Hogan’s Farm Irish Turkey’s, Irish Fish Canners, Maria Lucia Bakes and and Gino’s Gelato which itself is an enormous success story with 10 retail stores producing quality Irish Ice Cream from organic milk sourced locally helping to fight off imported ice cream brands.
Supporting the Love Irish Food view that small acts can make a big difference when a shopper chooses one brand over another, 84% of shoppers feel that small groups of individuals can make a real difference to the performance of the Irish economy, whilst 66% strongly agree that what happens in Ireland is more important to them than what happens in other countries, which would suggest that consumers are more concerned with outcomes that might affect their lifestyle in terms of the local economy, than international / macro economic factors and the effect these might have on their day to day lives.