How do shoppers of 2020 compare to those of 2008?

Michael Freedman
Senior Shopper Insight Manager

Date : 01 June 2020

With the UK again on the brink of recession, our ShopperVista team has compared shoppers of 2008 and 2020. In many ways, this year’s different circumstances are putting different strains on shoppers. However, some aspects of their behaviour and attitudes are similar. Michael talks about four of these similarities and reveals our predictions for the short to medium term. 


Health and mental wellbeing will continue to be high on shoppers’ agenda

Health and nutrition remain important to shoppers. In 2008, 84% claimed to do at least something to promote a healthy lifestyle. In 2020, that figure has risen to 89%. 

The larger main shop will remain important as online continues to appeal to more shoppers

In 2008, main shop missions were important. In recent years we have seen a growth in the top-up mission. 

In 2020, shoppers have minimised their visits to store. There has been an increase in larger main-shop missions, particularly in supermarkets and online.

Planning and reducing food waste will be key

Cutting food waste and improving planning play a vital role during both these periods. 

In 2008, 39% of shoppers indicated that they had done more planning to reduce food waste in the last six months. This compares to 18% who had done less. A key priority for the planners was to help save money.

In 2020, 48% stated they like to plan their shopping and resist impulse purchases (22nd -31st March), up from 32% (1st-21st March).  

Cooking from scratch will be valued

Cooking from scratch was a focus for shoppers in 2008, with saving money cited as the key reason. In 2008, 27% of shoppers indicated that they had cooked from scratch more in the last six months (vs 7% who had done less). 

It’s also increasing this year. In 2020, 67% of shoppers stated they like to cook from scratch using raw ingredients (22nd -31st March). This figure is up from 62% (1st-21st March). 

Need to know more about the similarities and differences between 2008 and 2020 shoppers? 

This research comes from our insight presentation Shopper trends - how 2020 compares to 2008. The full insight presentation covers drivers of store choice, the impact of food inflation, attitudes to ethics and more. If you’re a subscriber to ShopperVista, you can read Shopper trends - how 2020 compares to 2008 in full here

Not a subscriber? Contact [email protected] for a chat about how ShopperVista can help you better understand your shoppers.

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