A recent New Zealand internet survey has found that the so-called Recession has changed Kiwi grocery shoppers` habits.

A third of New Zealand families have changed their dinner habits as a result of the economic downturn, according to an online survey.

Conducted by parenting website http://www.kidspot.co.nz/, the survey of over 500 families suggested the recession had prompted a more frugal approach to grocery shopping and less spending on takeaways.

It also suggested a sharp rise in the price of groceries had led to more respondents bulk buying when items were on special, and freezing supplies for future use – particularly meat.

In-house brands now had greater acceptance and were being bought more at the expense of name brands, particularly when it came to staple products like tinned tomatoes, flour, rice, butter and bread.

Fish and some premium cuts of meat were being overlooked more often, and vegetables were being used more commonly as a substitute for meat, according to the survey’s respondents. Families were also planning ahead to avoid impulse buying.

“Mothers now leave the house for their weekly (not daily) shop armed with a list in hand, likely gleaned from the catalogue-advertised specials…” the website said.

Grocery buyers reported shopping around more than in the past and targeting price-friendly markets and independent butchers, while chasing the specials at different supermarkets.

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