The Global Language of Business

Importance of Price to Irish Grocery Shoppers has Reached a Five-Year Peak

Jul 19, 2022, by Fionnuala Malone - Category: Retail

Research reveals that the importance of price to the Irish grocery shopper is at a five-year peak. Shopper Intelligence Grocery Insights Research, which captures the perceptions of 30,000 Irish grocery shoppers, found that Irish shoppers are price-conscious, plan their grocery lists and care about the environment. The way that grocery shoppers approach their grocery shop has changed over the years, with inflation, COVID restrictions, supply chain issues and consumer trends all playing a role in how we shop. With Covid lockdowns now hopefully a thing of the past, grocery retailers are faced with a new post-pandemic landscape with some unexpected challenges, including labour shortages, inflation and consumer uncertainty. The Shopper Intelligence Grocery Insights Research looks at what shopper behaviours have changed over the years and how rising prices are impacting shopper satisfaction and what these changes mean for brands and retailers. Colm Rooney of Shopper Intelligence recently presented the results of their Grocery Insight research for 2022 at a webinar hosted by GS1 Ireland.

Inflation is affecting the Irish Grocery Shopper

The research shows that price has become more important to Irish grocery shoppers this year. This will come as no surprise with inflation rates currently at around 7% according to the ESRI, compared to under 2.5% last year. Shoppers are especially interested in ‘fixed low prices’ compared to promotions or offers. Shoppers are also reporting that they are less satisfied with price this year as compared to last year. The importance of all price metrics (price, offers, identify value and fixed low price) all reached the highest levels since 2018. Shoppers are also less satisfied with price overall than they were in 2021.

During COVID, we stopped being price-conscious, because it was more about getting everything in one shop, doing it safely and getting home again. Price wasn't the first and foremost thing on our mind. In 2022, shoppers, with a flick of a switch, started to become more price-conscious. When there's a lot of publicity around inflation and prices going up, price hikes are very much in the mind for shoppers. So no surprise, when we ask them about price, that the importance of price increased across the board, and satisfaction with price has declinedwhen, shoppers felt they were more, all of a sudden more price-aware, they were paying attention to price a lot more, they were less likely to just trade a premium by default and they were more likely to choose private label”.

Colm Rooney Shopper Intelligence

Shoppers come to the store prepared

During the COVID restrictions, shoppers were under pressure to get ‘in and out’, come prepared and ‘stock up’. In 2022, when looking at the reasons that shoppers came to the grocery store in the first place, the ‘weekly big shop’ is still high although it has decreased slightly since the peak in 2021. ‘Top-up shops’ are making a comeback but are still lower than pre-COVID levels, perhaps suggesting that people are still more planned and methodical about how they get their groceries. ‘Immediate use’ shops such as grabbing a sandwich to eat are still low, which may indicate that many employees are still working from home and not at the office. Shopping online continues to grow in popularity in 2022.

During COVID, grocery shoppers were more pre-planned, more likely to plan a big shopping list, and more likely to know what they wanted going into the store. We were shopping bigger, we were putting more into the trolley, we were trying to get in and out, we were ‘on a mission’. And conventional wisdom would suggest, when it restrictions eased that we would go back to normal. But actually, that hasn't happened, grocery shoppers continue to be more pre-planned.

Colm Rooney Shopper Intelligence


Shoppers are spending more time in-store

The data suggest that COVID time pressure has lessened, and shoppers are spending more time ‘browsing’ in-store. This may suggest that shoppers are spending that extra time price-hunting and looking for bargains. Shoppers are also very much affected by both pre-store promotions and in-store promotions.

Compared to COVID times, we don't feel the same time pressure store, which I think it's good for everybody in this in this business. Our browsing levels have remained constant. So, if we're not under time pressure, and our browsing has remained constant, what are we spending more time on? Is attention turning to price and identifying value?

Colm Rooney Shopper Intelligence

At-home eating is still high

Eating breakfast and dinner at home remain at COVID levels suggesting that perhaps many people are still working from home or have hybrid working arrangements. Entertaining at home is on the way back, as is lunch at work. ‘Healthy snacking’ and snacking between meals have increased since 2021 but ‘treats’ and evening snacking have decreased. This may indicate a trend away from ‘treating yourself’ during COVID and an increased focus on health.

Lunch at home has declined in 2022 but is still ahead of where it was two years ago. Lunch at work is increasing but is still behind where it was two years ago. We are still buying groceries for breakfast and dinner at home, so there still is a large cohort of people that are either working from home full time or part-time.

Colm Rooney Shopper Intelligence

Sustainability is back

Environment, local and Irish are a priority for Irish grocery shoppers more and more, year on year. There is a greater desire among Irish shoppers for less packaging and shoppers are more likely to plan by size (perhaps to reduce waste).

All the different metrics that we look at related to sustainability dropped back during COVID. Now we're seeing them come back up again and sustainability has become more important to Irish grocery shoppers. And it's not just in relation to packaging and recycling. It's things like ‘Irishness’ and traceability, smaller pack sizes, less food waste. All the sustainability metrics have increased in importance in our study.

Colm Rooney Shopper Intelligence

About the Irish Grocery Shopper Summer Webinar Series hosted by GS1 Ireland

Colm Rooney, Country Manager at Shopper Intelligence Ireland , presentedis presenting thepresented the latest 2022 insights from their annual Irish Grocery shopper study in a series of four webinars in June and July, hosted by GS1 Ireland.  The first webinar in the series – “State of the Nation” looked at an overview of the grocery market and included the main 5 retailers. In webinar two we took a deep-drive into the profiles of the retailers from a shopper behaviour perspective, and identify where each has their strengths. The third webinar in the series looked at 3 of the Product-specific metrics; environment, traceability and Irishness. The fourth and final webinar in the series looked at how Alcohol Minimum Unit Prices (MUPs) are impacting perceptions among Irish grocery shoppers in the Beers Wines and Spirits category. For more information or to access the recordings on demand please visit

About Shopper Intelligence

The Shopper Intelligence research measures shopper perceptions and behaviours to provide powerful insights,  - helping producers and brand owners to make informed and compelling plans and strategies to present to their retail partners. All the major categories in the Irish grocery channel are covered, with quotas for each main retailer (specifically, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and the convenience channel). Shopper Intelligence provides the direct voice of the shopper, providing ongoing performance indicators compared at country, channel, retailer, category and brand level that improve promotional efficiency, build persuasive proposals, and inform credible joint plans for growth with retailers.



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