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BizReport : : November 08, 2012

Rising food prices push Brits online to shop for groceries

Three-quarters of consumers in the UK now use the Internet to shop for household groceries, according to new research from Nielsen, driven by increasing food prices and convenience.

by Helen Leggatt

Seventy-four percent of consumers in the UK use the Internet to conduct their grocery shopping, found Nielsen in their Global Survey of Digital Influence on Global Shopping. The survey involved more than 28,000 online consumers across 56 countries.

The main reason Brits head online is to save money, found the research, with almost half (48%) looking for deals, 30% seeking coupons from dedicated sites and a quarter using the Internet to look for grocery price comparisons. The UK leads European countries in using the Internet to save money on their food shopping with 43% of Europeans overall looking for money-saving channels online.

"While much has been made about fitness and wellbeing in this, an Olympic year, British shoppers are as likely to make purchase decisions based on retailer loyalty programmes and the use of coupons and vouchers - available online or via their smartphones - as they are on what's best for their health," says Mike Watkins, Nielsen UK's head of retailer insight.

In fact, such is the popularity of buying foodstuffs online that it is now the third most popular category in the UK behind travel (30%) and books, magazines and newspapers (28%) with 27% planning to purchase food and drink online in the coming months.

The purchasing of groceries online has come a long way in the last couple of years. Previously, consumers' reticence to allow a stranger to pick the ripeness of their fruit, the shape of their fish fillets, the fattiness of a steak or a substitute item has been a turn off.

Tags: coupons, Europe, food industry, grocery shopping, online shopping, shopping trends, supermarket

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  • Yes, shopping for groceries online is way cheaper than going hunting in the market. And it is not just the money you pay for the stuff you buy but also the gas you spend for driving to and from the market and of course, the time you spend in ques and sorting out the rotten apples from the basket. Ordering in is way more convenient and equally cheap, especially given the coupons and discounts always making the rounds.



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