According to the RollAMA household panel, classic food retailers, discounters and other sources of shopping such as bakers, butchers, markets or delivery services have increased in value by 14 percent compared to 2019. The strongest increases were in the second and fourth quarters. In terms of quantity, all of the product groups recorded have also increased, by an average of almost 10 percent. An accompanying motive analysis shows that regional products are gaining importance in consumer behavior and awareness of quality is increasing.
Direct marketing and specialist retailers also benefit from the extraordinary shopping and consumption situation. Butchers’ sales increased by 16 percent; households spent 24 percent more directly on farmers than in the previous year. Shopping at the farmers’ market was also popular in 2020. Fresh milk and eggs are particularly often bought from direct farmers, followed by potatoes and bacon.
If you look at the rates of increase for the individual product groups in detail, you can see that products that have a longer shelf life scored particularly well. All kinds of cabbage vegetables celebrated an unexpected revival last year. Canned vegetables, mushrooms, ready meals and frozen fruit increased in volume by more than 20 percent.
20 euros more per household and month
In 2020, according to the report, households spent an average of around 20 euros more per month in grocery retail than in previous years. The expenditures for ready meals, fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, sausage and ham as well as for fresh dairy products increased in particular.
The proportion of those groceries bought in action fell slightly in 2020. Ready meals as well as meat and sausage show the highest share of promotions. Eggs are the least heavily discounted. And despite the tense financial situation in some cases, the organic share rose continuously, reaching a double-digit figure for the first time at 10 percent. Michael Blass, Managing Director of AMA Marketing: “We see this as a sign of increased quality awareness among consumers. Apparently, many have dealt more intensively with their diet in the last few months and discovered organic products as the products of their choice. ”
Consumer behavior: Awareness of quality and hygiene is increasing
In November, the AMA asked 2,000 consumers about their shopping behavior and whether or how it has changed as a result of the pandemic. Compared to the last motivational analyzes in 2013 and 2017, 59 percent now said that they pay more attention to the quality than to the price when shopping for food.
The local and regional origin has become more important as a purchasing criterion. It has gained in importance for two thirds of those surveyed. Freshness, purchase directly from the farmer and high quality are decisive for every second participant in the study. The lower frequency of shopping allows customers to look for a longer shelf life, easy access to the shop and a large selection of ready-made meals.
A pandemic makes many people aware of the value of what used to be taken for granted. A third of those surveyed would like to pay more attention to hygiene even after the crisis, and a quarter would like to buy local, regional food. Friends and family become more important. Austria is gaining popularity as a future holiday destination, as are small, regional shops. Around 20 percent plan to take care of their health and a healthy diet and to do sports after the crisis.