Seven in 10 consumers only buy absolutely essential items from supermarkets, according to a new survey on consumer behavior by the Athens University of Economics and Business, seen by Kathimerini. This is the highest rate ever recorded in the annual survey and serves to confirm the impoverished state of the majority of Greeks.
The cut in spending on even basic nutrition commodities – by definition considered inflexible – by an ever-growing section of the population, shows that Greek society has become a society in which only one-third can afford goods that are beyond the bare minimum for survival, rather than the other way around.
The share of people saying they do not buy any supermarket goods beyond what is absolutely necessary rose to 70 percent this year from 69 percent in 2015, 62 percent in 2014 and 60 percent in 2013.
What is different from previous years is the other findings of the same survey: Four in five respondents (80 percent) say they buy fewer products than last year, against 74 percent in 2015; 71 percent say they choose cheaper products, up from 68 percent in 2015; and 87 percent say they compare prices before making a purchase, against 86.6 percent in 2015 and 75 percent in 2014.
Bargain hunting has also made consumers less loyal to one supermarket chain: More than half of respondents (53.3 percent) say they shop at more than one chain, up from 44.6 percent just a year ago. Researchers say this is the first time in the 12 years that the survey has been conducted that this rate has exceeded the 50-percent mark.
Visits per month have increased, averaging at 8.5 per consumer, up from 7.1 last year, though 54 percent say they shop up to six times a month at supermarkets. However the average amount of money spent per visit has fallen considerably from 54.4 euros in 2015 to 49.5 euros this year. This decline is attributed to the shrinking of disposable income and pessimism among Greek households, which expect to get saddled with additional tax in the coming years.
The survey showed that 69.9 percent of respondents spend up to 50 euros per visit (against 67.2 percent in 2015) and 94 percent of consumers decided in advance which products they will buy on their visit to the supermarket.