A discussion on ABC Radio last Saturday looked at the changing nature of fresh food buying in Australia. Geraldine Doogue interviewed Dr Sean Sands, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Monash Business Centre about the Centre’s research.
It was suggested that a significant change in buying habits is being led by millennials although other groups including over 65’s are also involved. Previously Gen X and Baby Boomers shopped once per week with a “big shop”. Their buying was comparatively pre-planned and structured.
According to Dr. Sands, shopping now is much more fragmented.
Traditional fresh food suppliers now have much more competition from smaller food outlets, specialist butchers, farmer’s markets, home delivery services, and outlets that supply more curated meals. He described this as a major shift.
There is now a lot more topping-up shopping, sometimes even daily, and consumers are buying for particular meals rather than just buying basics that can be converted to a variety of dishes.
There is much talk these days about the demise of smaller retailers but in food Dr Sands says we are in a sense returning to the old days of smaller boutique stores having a significant impact.
Families may tend to be more structured in their food buying because young families in particular are so time poor. And this where another retail disruptor, the home delivery service, comes into play. Convenience is a big factor for those families.
Understanding the changing patterns of consumer buying is essential if QVM is to stay at the forefront of fresh food. It would appear that the days of the “big shop” have gone and QVM needs to meet new challenges.