Monday, 11 July 2016: A new report from Woolworths has given unique insights into Australians’ connection with food and the supermarket experience and its evolving role as the epicentre of the local community.
The latest report in the Woolworths Trolley Trends series has shown the supermarket is fast becoming Australia’s new village green with one in five people (20%) going to a supermarket at least once a week. Woolies alone experiences 18 million visits per week. Moreover, a record number of people (44%) have indicated the local shopping centre is central to community life and perhaps more so than the pub, school or community centre, up from 39 per cent in 2014.
The new findings also show an increased importance amongst grocery shoppers for traditional, family-centric values, a growing preference for fresh, value for money and a desire for local foods, suppliers and producers.
A global nation with a passion for local
Australian consumers want to know where their food comes from with more than half of shoppers (52%) saying that buying local food is extremely important to them and around a quarter preferring to purchase meat and poultry, bread and grains and seafood and fish from local producers.
Woolworths caters to Australia’s passion for local, stocking more than 3,400 locally sourced products on its shelves, an increase of more than 450 since September 2014. More consumers now have access to fresh, local produce than ever before and Woolworths online shopping is accessible to 96 per cent of the country – including some of the most remote locations.
Australia’s passion for local also extends to knowing more about the people who grow and produce food sold in store and the people selling it. Two thirds (62%) buy or prefer to buy from producers who are passionate about what they create. In fact, only one in 11 (9%) of people indicated they are not concerned at all about whether passionate people prepared their food.
The health revolution
Being health conscious is fast becoming a way of life for many people of all ages. Over two thirds (72%) are spending more time reading nutritional labels compared with three to five years ago and more than half of customers (52%) now buy health products in their weekly shop. In the past 12 months alone, health food* sales have increased by nearly four per cent, with health food shoppers making up approximately one third (4.5 million) of Woolworths total customer base.
Understanding a trend toward a more health-savvy nation, Woolworths committed to reducing sodium levels across its Own Brand products as part of a joint government initiative in 2009. To date, it has removed 18 per cent, or 224 tonnes, of salt from its Own Brand products, the equivalent of 431 wheelie bins.
Food literacy of the next generation is also of key importance. Over two-thirds (68%) indicated extreme concern over the inadequate consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables by children today, with a further 60 per cent concerned about kids’ lack of healthy food knowledge. Through the Free Fruit for Kids initiative, Woolworths is helping facilitate education of the next generation by providing kids with access to 250,000 pieces of fruit each week in stores across the country.
The value swag: a nation of creative savers
Australia is a nation of savvy shoppers with just over half (51%) of the country believing the cheaper, the better. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) shoppers indicated buying on discount is extremely important to them.
Aussies are also creative savers. Purchasing groceries based on weekly specials (58%), writing shopping lists (52%), bulk buying discounted non-perishables (53%) and purchasing goods in bulk (51%) are four ways people are saving money at the checkout. Since April, Woolworths has added an additional 183 products to its Price Dropped and Always programs as part of a $150 million overall investment to help its customers save on their weekly shop.
Value for money also permeates the way we shop for fruit and vegetables with the majority striking a balance between quality and price. Just over a third (35%) indicated they would buy whatever is cheaper regardless of appearance.
Through The Odd Bunch, an initiative working toward zero food waste by 2020, Woolworths has sold more than 30 million kilograms of misshaped fruit and vegetables. This is up 174 per cent on last year, with savings passed onto savvy shoppers who pay $1.16 on average less for The Odd Bunch range than for its equivalent product.
To ensure no food goes to waste, in 2015 Woolworths gave 2,955 tonnes of food to charities including OzHarvest and Foodbank, donated 40,000 tonnes of food waste to farmers and invested $5.8 million in time devoted to community.
For further information please contact the One Green Bean on (02) 8020 1839.
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*Health food product refers to sugar-free, gluten-free, additive-free, organic, raw, salt-free, dairy-free or vegan