What makes a supermarket super?

Grocery StoreAustralia’s 14,000,000 grocery buyers have some strong ideas when it comes to choosing which supermarket to shop at, according to a new study by Roy Morgan.

Among the factors most likely to influence their decision are food safety, location, and good value, while ‘add on’ services such as photo developing and dry cleaning tend not to rate very highly at all.

Last year, 55.8 per cent of Australian grocery buyers nominated high standards of food safety as one of the factors that mattered most to them when supermarket shopping, an almost identical proportion as those who said that a location close to home influenced their choice of supermarket.

Good value, 54.1 per cent; convenient trading hours, 52.6 per cent; and hygienically prepared food 52.2 per cent; also featured among the five qualities grocery buyers value most in a supermarket.

According to Roy Morgan, last year more than 12 million grocery buyers visited a supermarket at least once in an average seven days.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, said this number represents immense opportunity for those supermarkets that offer the qualities so many of these people look for when deciding where to do their groceries.

Rating much lower on the list of supermarket priorities are features such as a box office where customers can buy tickets to shows, 4.3 per cent; photo developing, 4.5 per cent; and a good range of financial services, five per cent.  Tellingly, none of these actually have anything to do with the act of buying groceries.

Country vs city grocery buyers

While the top 10 factors that Australian grocery buyers consider most important in a supermarket are much the same as they were five years ago, there are some interesting variations between shoppers that live in country areas and their capital city counterparts.

Most strikingly according to the findings, a location close to home is the factor that most capita city grocery buyers consider important (even ahead of high food safety standards) — but it comes in tenth for country dwellers.

Similarly, city folks are more likely than country residents to rate convenient trading hours as very important when choosing a supermarket.

On the other hand, ‘good quality fresh fruits and vegetables’ is the second most important feature for country grocery buyers (after food safety standards), but ranks only ninth for city shoppers.

“With almost 8 million people naming high standards of food safety and a location close to home as factors that influence their choice of supermarket, these are less an option and more an obligation for supermarkets that wish to remain viable,” Levine said.

“However, there is obviously more to it than that. Our data also reveals subtle differences between country and city shoppers, with people based in country areas focused more on the food and those from capital cities more concerned with location and convenience when choosing a supermarket.”

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Main grocery buyers 14+
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Main grocery buyers 14+

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