A new report into the UK’s convenience retail market by HIM & MCA as revealed the sector is expected to grow 8% in 2020, to £44.7bn ($55.8bn) – up from 2.6% growth in 2019.
The report highlights increased volume and sales during the coronavirus lockdown period, as consumers favour in-home consumption due to risk aversion as well as watching their discretionary spend – a trend that HIM & MCA Insight forecast to continue despite lockdown measures easing.
In the confectionery category, insights revealed the proportion of shoppers impulse purchasing has increased in 2020 to 23%, from 13% in 2019 (research pre-coronavirus) and 4% of convenience shoppers purchase confectionery on impulse, up from 3% in 2019.
While working and spending more time at home, nearly half of UK consumers say they are also snacking more during lockdown, with chocolate or sweets (44%) the second most popular choice of snack. Crisps is the number one snack at 53%.
The report’s authors say that, with over one fifth of consumers expecting to continue to work from home once the lockdown ends, this snacking trend is likely to continue – and multipacks are increasingly important, offering a portion controlled and less expensive treat throughout the day.
In general, the report reveals convenience retail has benefitted from larger basket sizes and spend since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Basket value has grown 17% year-on-year to £7.46 and average basket size is 2.5 items – up from 2.3 in 2019.
Lockdown has also exacerbated a pre-coronavirus growth trend in planned top-up shopping. Shoppers have turned to convenience for main and planned top-up shopping with independent retailers more flexible when faced with stock pressures. Planned top-up shops have increased 4pps year-on-year, accounting for 22% of all convenience trips in 2020.
Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at HIM & MCA Insight, says, “The turn of the decade has seen a transformative year for the convenience retail market. Convenience retailers have been forced to adapt to new basket dynamics and an evolving core consumer base. A shift in shopper missions has resulted in increased basket spend and size, rewarding retailers for the support and commitment they have shown to their local communities.”
About HIM & MCA Insight
HIM and MCA Insight are two of the leading insight providers in their fields.
HIM is the market expert in shopper data and insights across the UK and Ireland grocery retail sector. Working with market leading brands, suppliers, retailers and wholesalers, HIM empowers clients with the knowledge to make business critical decisions.
MCA Insight specialises in market and consumer data across the UK eating and drinking out sector, and provides valuable insight to leading foodservice operators, suppliers, distributors and stakeholders.
Both are owned by ConfectioneryNews publisher, WRBM.