Are Brits becoming ‘shopping tarts’?

July 4, 2008

Are you the kind of shopper that supermarkets love, the type who always shops at the same supermarket on a regular basis?

Tesco, Morrisons, etc… love you, as you are often more loyal to them then your employer or even your family!

Well the BBC reports that in these times of economic turmoil, the days of the loyal supermarket shopper may be coming to an end as we become more price sensitive.

Many supermarket-goers are wedded to their brand of shop. But as people begin to draw in the purse strings, some are starting to see benefits in being a more promiscuous consumer.

Evidence suggests once loyal shoppers, who in the past have been faithfully wedded to a single supermarket brand, are starting to experiment with younger, cheaper models.

However will these changing habits last? According to the article, no.

…as shoppers have more money again they will revert to old habits.

These surveys are a great demonstration of how changes in income effect the demand for groceries. As incomes fall (due to increased costs), the demand for luxury goods (ie Waitrose or Marks and Spencers) will fall (shift to the left); whilst the demand for basic (cheap) goods (ie lidl or aldi) will rise (shift to the right).

We can also use demand and supply analysis to explain the recent rise in food prices, by shifts in the supply curve.

More links on supermarkets.