Supermarket trolleys getting ever lighter

Supermarket trolleys getting ever lighter

Consumers are putting less into their supermarket trolleys as price hikes continue to eat into their disposable incomes.

According to data published on Friday by NielsenIQ, the sales volume in the food and beverage category fell in the first half of 2022 (data up to June 19) by 2.7%, a development attributed to the significant increase of prices, which, on average in standardized foods, reached 4.2% in the first half of the year. 

The food & non-alcoholic beverages group, which also includes fresh products and not only sales from the supermarket channel, saw a price hike of 12.6% in June, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The notable decrease in food sales, but also in all other major product categories, such as household care items (detergents etc.) and personal care items (soap, shampoos etc.) resulted in a marginal increase of supermarket turnover by just 0.9% in the first half of 2022 compared to the corresponding half of 2021. This is an increase that is solely due to the leap in prices, NielsenIQ points out.

Record food price hikes are being recorded in very basic product categories, putting a much greater strain on family budgets. According to NielsenIQ, prices in the olive oil, packaged cheese and flour categories have increased by an average of 22.7%, 9.6% and 9.1% respectively. In fact, the months of May and June have contributed significantly to the above price increases, as bigger hikes were recorded then compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The price situation is far from ideal in the other categories of supermarket items as well, which is also causing a big drop in sales. The prices of household care products have increased on average in the first half of this year by 3.4% and personal care products by 2.1%.

The decline in sales volume is such that it has also caused a large decline in sales volume by 5.3% in household care items and by 3.6% in personal care items. Among the categories in which the highest price increases are recorded are aluminum foil (16.7%), but also diapers (9%).

Consumers are also turning to cheaper products, especially private-label products. According to NielsenIQ data, the share of private-label products is 13.6% this year from 12.7% a year ago.

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