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Why there’s less stuff in your supermarket trolley


Almost half of us check prices online before we shop.

Australians aren't just changing which supermarket they prefer to visit. We're also shifting from that traditional idea of a "weekly shop" to more frequent visits.

The most obvious measure of this is in how much we spend. According to research firm Information Resources (IRI), the average spend per shop has dropped 7% over the last year. Some of that can be accounted for because of fierce competition and the desire of shoppers to hunt down the cheapest goods, but visit frequency is also clearly a factor. There has been a 3% increase in visit frequency to supermarkets, according to IRI.

Another reason for visiting supermarkets more often might be that we're hunting down the cheapest brands available at each supermarket. IRI's research suggests that 45% of us do research online before shopping. While that's sensible behaviour when you're looking to buy clothes or gadgets, it's a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to food shopping, where convenience and location can also be major factors.

The increasingly visibility of supermarket-brand goods also contributes to a smaller spend. IRI found that 29% of shoppers claim that they are giving up their favourite brands in order to save money. This is the kind of decision that inspires fierce debate, however: 49% of shoppers said they would never abandon their preferred brands simply to save a few dollars. I'm sure that percentage would go up if the shopper in question is a fan of Arnott's Shapes.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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