French consumers are increasingly making trade offs while shopping as they attempt to balance their budgets, a new study by Kantar has found.
Faced with record inflation, shoppers have reduced their spending on high ticket items, and indeed have even cut back on traditional fresh produce in some instances, Kantar said.
However, high prices have not, to date, led to a mass migration to private label products, it added.
In the period from 18 April to 15 May, household expenditure on food was 3.2% lower than in the same period last year, while spend on hygiene and personal care items is lower still.
Volume sales in fresh products are down 11.8%, with low-income households in particular halting purchases of certain meat, cheese and charcuterie items. According to Kantar, sales of traditional charcuterie have dropped 33%, while cheese sales are down 26%.
"This is not a supply problem, or a lack of product causing prices to rise, but a situation in which certain foods are considered too expensive and non-essential," said Gaëlle Le Floch, director of strategy at Kantar Worldpanel.
Another category to see a slump is organic, with spend down 11% – notably this is common to both lower- and higher-income households.
Discounters Gain Share
While discounters Lidl and Aldi have not yet seen a surge in sales as a result of high inflation, both have gained market share since the start of the year – both are up 0.3 percentage points.
In addition, Lidl and Aldi have 'improved their image, communicated on the quality of their fresh products, have renovated their stores, [and] have launched loyalty schemes', Kantar said, all signs that they are positioning themselves for future growth.
French consumers intend to make more use of promotions in the weeks to come, Kantar added, but this is not yet borne out by purchasing habits – sales f products under promotion fell slightly (-1.7%) in the most recent four-week period.