Nielsen Shopper Trends: Cautious Filipino shoppers increase store visits and decrease basket size

• Promotion only appeals if it is for well-liked stores and brands
• Shoppers ready to adapt green living, but with cheaper price

MANILA, 19 JULY 2012 – Filipino shoppers are increasing the frequency with which they visit the grocery store, with close to half (45%)shopping for groceries on a weekly basis, according to a report released recently by Nielsen, the leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

Nielsen’s annual Philippines Shopper Trends Report found that the average frequency of grocery shopping trips increased to 2.6 visits per month in 2011, up from 2.2 in 2010. The number of consumers shopping for groceries on a weekly basis increased to 45 percent in 2011, up 15 points compared to 2010. (See Chart 1)

Chart 1 Frequency of grocery shopping 2011 versus 2010

“Following a GDP high in 2010 due to the election, the Philippines economy slowed during 2011,” notes Stuart Jamieson, Managing Director of Nielsen Philippines. “The impact of the global economic crisis coupled with natural disasters both within and outside of the country has caused consumers to be more cautious with their spending, and this is evidenced in the move to more frequent shopping visits but smaller basket sizes.”

Filipinos also increased the frequency of their top-up shopping from an average of once per month in 2010 to almost three times per month in 2011. “Consumers are decreasing their basket size in order to manage their available cash, shopping only as the need arises,” said Jamieson.

Purchase habits during promotion
Nielsen’s Shopper Trends Report found that nine in 10 Filipino shoppers prepare a shopping list but most are not likely to stick to it. Despite strict budgets and self-imposed shopping rules, almost seven in 10 shoppers do not stick to their shopping plans, meaning shoppers are still very open to impulse purchases.

“Manufacturers and retailers should be looking to implement store offers and promotions which connect with shoppers in order to generate increased sales,” noted Jamieson.

Filipino shoppers also have a high degree of loyalty towards both retailers and brands – only seven percent of Filipinos are likely to change the store they shop in based on promotional offerings and just nine percent regularly buy different brands due to promotions.

Chart 2: Promotional Sensitivity

Whilst in store, however, close to one third of Filipinos (30%) claim to actively search for promotions when grocery shopping, and 40 percent said they only purchase items on promotion if it is a brand they like (see Chart 2). “This behaviour illustrates Filipino shoppers’ loyalty to brands they have tried and tested, however, it also demonstrates price-awareness when it comes to promotional engagement,” added Jamieson.

Environmental friendly shopping
With rising awareness and visibility of environmental issues, nine in 10 Filipino shoppers claimed to make an effort to buy products that are friendly for the environment. In reality, however, this effort is not always translating into actual purchases, with only a little over one quarter (27%) of shoppers claiming to purchase more or the same number of environmentally friendly products in 2011 compared to the previous year, and 44 percent of shoppers do not purchase any environmentally friendly products.

“Price remains a barrier for Filipinos to adopt environmentally friendly purchasing habits,” states Jamieson. “With 50 percent of shoppers stating they would purchase environmentally friendly products only if the pricing is on par with the cheapest brand, manufacturers must create cheaper alternatives in order to encourage shoppers to purchase environmentally friendly products.”