German consumers, traditionally renowned for their sensitivity to price, are gradually becoming more open to paying higher prices for quality goods. The newly-published Nielsen Shopper Trends Report 2019 provides insights into shopper trends from more than 60 countries, including insights into the behaviour of shoppers as well as information about traders' performance and consumers' attitudes to trading. In Germany, 1500 participants were interviewed.
By Irene Brockie, Düsseldorf Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
German consumers felt that food prices had risen in 2018 – by 71 percent in comparison with the previous year. 64 percent of interviewees knew the prices of particular products and had noticed the changes. "Consumers pay attention to prices and offers when shopping," said Jens Ohlig, CEO of Nielsen Germany. 59 percent profit from offers to stock up on everyday food, whilst 55 percent compare prices of own brands with leading brands. 48 percent regularly consult ‘Handzettel’ (weekly newsletters which contain information on offers and in-store promotions) and save money by using coupons. 39 percent of those interviewed are committed to a strict budget for food, and 37 percent actively look for special offers.
According to the report, Germans are becoming increasingly ready to pay for quality, with 58 percent stating that they are prepared to spend more. "It's becoming increasingly important for consumers to get the best possible results for their money – this means a good price / performance ratio," stated Fred Hogen, Director of Retailer Services at Nielsen Germany. Even when buying private label products, consumers are unwilling to compromise on quality.
Despite shopping lists, many succumb to impulse purchases
The market researchers also found that routine has little influence on impulse purchases. 63 percent of respondents admitted that although they plan in advance, they usually buy other products as well. 76 percent plan what they want to buy in advance, with 72 percent choosing to create a shopping list. 64 percent mostly acquire the same brands and products during their weekly shop.
Consumers also shop more consciously than before. 23 percent have changed their consumption patterns to minimise food waste. 45 percent like to use products that are environmentally friendly, whilst 80 percent believe that animal welfare is an important consideration when making food choices. The purchase of fresh food is important for 73 percent of interviewees, while 55 percent care about regionality and the proportion of locally-produced goods in their shopping basket. Over half (52 percent) value natural ingredients, following a growing global health and wellness trend.
Source: Bord Bia