As you grow older, it often happens that you choose a certain supermarket and stick to it. Maybe it’s got the best selection of baked goods or the most helpful staff, or maybe we’re all simply creatures of habit.
We do go to the supermarket quite a lot in the UK. In fact, the average person goes 1-2 times per week. Our weekly spend at grocery stores this year is £3 billion, and it was closer to £3.5 billion during the Christmas week of 2018 – that’s a £46 weekly shop per person in the UK (though the most savvy shoppers take advantage of grocery discounts to cut the bill!). Given how often we go to the shops, it’s ironic that we also waste a considerable amount of food. Did you know that each household throws away £700 worth of food each year, equal to £60 per month?
is the average weekly spend in grocery stores in the UK.
Where do we shop?
Boasting over a quarter of the market share (27.4%), the most popular supermarket in the UK is undoubtedly Tesco. Sainsbury’s comes in second place with 15.5% of the market share, while Asda comes in just behind it in third place with 15.2%. The big brands aren’t for everyone though, as 1.8% of us reportedly prefer smaller and possibly local vendors.
Every day we throw away: 5.8 million potatoes 1.3 million apples 1.5 million tomatoes 1.5 million sausages 300,000 unopened packets of food items
How often do you go to the shop?
The majority of us are organised enough to at least attempt to get the majority of our shopping done in one go, with 56% of us opting to buy food 1-2 times per week. 30% of Brits try to minimise how much they carry out the door, shopping 3-4 times per week. 2% of us make a quick stop at the shop to get food for today and today only, heading to the shop as often as 7-8 times per week!
Since 5 October 2015, stores are required to charge at least 5p for plastic carrier bags. This initiative was meant to reduce the use of plastic bags and encourage customers to use fewer bags or reuse the ones they’ve already bought. Has this new law changed our behaviour?
Unfortunately for our oceans, not necessarily. Out of the nine most visited supermarkets in the UK, five of them have seen an increase in carrier bag sales during the last 12 months. The most popular supermarket in Britain, Tesco, has seen an increase of 92% in the sale of single-use plastic carrier bags from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019. Morrisons’ sales have also seen an increase, albeit a lower one than Tesco, at 4.5%. Similarly, sales at Co-op rose by 4.4%, at M&S by 0.2%, and finally, at Waitrose by 0.08%. The government is looking into raising the minimum price of a plastic bag from 5p to 10p – maybe that will help us remember to bring the bags we already have at home.
Even if you do have a favourite shop, it’s not always fun to actually go there, put your food into your basket, stand in line and then carry those 20lbs home. Online food shopping is a comfortable alternative and a good way to save some time. Each year, more and more people try it out, with 28% of Brits reporting that they’ve ordered their groceries to their door in 2018, 2% more than 2017.
Out of respondents aged 16-24 years old, 25% say they purchased groceries online at least once in 2018. Online grocery shopping is most popular among 35-44 year olds, though, as 48% of them reported that they clicked home the goodies in 2018. The 65+ age bracket is the least interested in getting food via the world wide web, with only 11% reporting that they ordered groceries online.
How often we order varies, but around one in five (22%) of us order weekly. The majority of respondents (39%) order once or twice per month, while 36% of us order even less often.
Georgia-Rose is a publisher at Finder.com and specialises in all things shopping and travel. She has years of experience working in retail and tourism and as an avid budget traveller, she loves helping people find the best deals on everything from plane tickets to sunglasses.
When she's not jetting off somewhere new you'll find her watching cake videos or befriending stray cats.
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