Grocery spend will decrease according to new research

LONDON - Despite an upbeat Christmas for the majority of supermarkets, new research suggests there has been an increase in the number of consumers cutting grocery spend, compared with last year.

The survey, carried out by shopper research agency Shoppercentric, shows that the number of consumers that have had to make significant adjustments to their weekly grocery shopping has risen, and now represents nearly a third of the UK population (30%) - an increase of 25% on January 2009.

The study's findings also showed that 20% of respondents have experienced a reduction in income due to a job loss compared with last January's figure of 11%.

Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric, said: "The key message here is that while economic data shows the recession is coming to an end [or has indeed ended], the impact will continue to be felt by the public for some time to come.

"Retailers and manufacturers need to be responding accordingly and bear this in mind with regards to promotions and pricing strategy. By making a connection with customers and understanding their needs and budgets [and responding appropriately], businesses will earn trust and loyalty, factors that are invaluable for long term growth and success."

Shoppercentric conducted its research in December based in 1,045 adults, aged 18-64, and the main grocery shopper for their household.

Earlier this week Tesco announced that in the six weeks to 9 January 2010, like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, increased by 4.9% (VAT adjusted). Sainsbury's also witnessed positive sales results and posted a 6.2% rise in total sales for the 13 weeks to 2 January 2010.

Waitrose however saw the largest growth in the grocery sector with total sales up 16.1% in the 13 weeks to 26 December.

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