Healthy eating and adoption of new technologies are top shopper trends, says Him

By Fiona Briggs

Healthy eating and the adoption of new technologies, which improve the buying experience, are top shopper trends, according to Katie Hemmings, commercial director at Him!

Presenting at CSE 2017, Hemmings revealed findings from Him!’s interviews with 100,000 shoppers, in 13 countries and across 63 different retailers, each year.

Health is a huge trend but it evolves each year, Hemmings said.

“The majority of shoppers are planning to be healthier and have made better choices over the last 12 months too.”

However, healthy means different things in different European markets, Hemmings advised. In the UK, it’s about reduced salt, sugar and fat. In Ireland it’s centred on nuts and fruits. The French view healthy as gluten free, while for German consumers, healthy eating encompasses products like protein bars.

Convenience stores should provide healthy options, particularly to appeal to elderly shoppers who are more likely to have mobility issues, she said.

Hemmings flagged up examples of brands which are actively promoting healthy eating such as Intermarche with its La detox de sucre, low sugar pots; Mars’ When’sa your Dolmio Day? campaign, which advises that certain foods are not designed for everyday consumption; Target’s Good & Gather range, which highlights ingredients in bold packaging’ and Zipongo, the digital nutritional platform.

Millennials - the so-called ‘one swipe generation’ who have information at their fingertips - are looking to retailers to help them consume, said Hemmings. They are also looking for customisation, she said. Him! research showed 33% want retailers to personalise the experience. They also want shopping to be enjoyable.

“Shoppers moan a lot about queuing, especially on forecourts,” Hemmings told delegates, revealing that eight in 10 shoppers would abandon a purchase if there is a long queue.

But c-stores are failing to deliver on experience, Hemmings warned. Just one in five find c-stores enjoyable places to shop and 11% find food and drink shopping stressful.

Hemmings highlighted retailers who were delivering the good and has tied up with Nike in a unique concept store; Fallon & Byrne in Dublin and Carrefour City.

Simply Fresh is another innovative brand, she added. The UK retailer has

opened a store in the co-living, co-working space, The Collective in North West London, occupied by young professionals. According to Hemmings, the Simply Fresh offer delivers against the demographic with premium wines and spirits, for instance, and lots of in-store theatre.

Like Bona, Hemmings also recommended retailers considered seating in their stores since shoppers who take a seat spend up to 40% more.

Hemmings presented Him!‘s new shopper profiles. They include ‘balanced well beings’, shoppers who are interested in healthy but will indulge at the weekends; ‘cash strapped families’, budget conscious, less affluent shoppers who over index on own label lines and are price aware; ‘cosy night in cooks’, who don’t have kids and enjoy cooking from scratch; plus ‘relied on retirees’, whose kids are still living at home and are more likely to use c-stores for top up missions but not for alcohol, crisps and snacks.

Hemmings showcased shopper behaviour in Europe and how different nationalities used c-stores.

Shoppers in France are more likely to be in full time work and will visit c-stores when they are taking a break. UK shoppers are retirees who use c-stores for top up missions. In Ireland, shoppers are more likely to live in a shared house and will visit c-stores for their services. In Germany, shoppers are less likely to eat meat and will visit c-stores to buy a hot drink-to-go.

Shoppers in Spain and Italy tend to be more impulsive, Hennings added.

“The big trends won’t change,” she advised delegates, “but there will be different societal pressures impacting the way shoppers shop.”

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Fiona BriggsFiona Briggs Freelance retail business journalist

Fiona is an experienced journalist and editor, writing exclusive content for GCSF. She is founder of retailtimes.co.uk. She contributes regularly to NACS Magazine and writes articles on omnichannel shopper trends for Radial. Fiona is available for commissions at fionalbriggs@gmail.com

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