Consumers get a growing taste for world foods – but want more compact ranges

Seven out of 10 shoppers who buy from the world food aisle say they enjoy the experience, making it an even more popular part of a store to browse than wine, which 56% claim to enjoy shopping for, or fresh fruit (53%) and fresh vegetables (51%).

According to the latest IGD ShopperVista data:

  • Eight out of 10 (81% of) shoppers who buy world foods are interested in new products
  • More than half (59%) would be interested in seeing an expanded choice of products available
  • 60% would be prepared to pay more for higher-quality world food products

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “Many of us are spending more time travelling abroad and there is a more varied choice of international food on our high streets than ever before. Coupled with that, we have seen increased migration to Britain over recent decades. So it’s no wonder that shoppers love to browse the world foods aisle, to recreate those tastes in their own homes. Over the last few years, we have seen enormous expansion of and investment into the world food categories in most major supermarkets.

“We have also seen a change in the types of cuisine that people are looking for in the world food aisle. Favourites such as Italian, Chinese and Indian remain popular, but Spanish, Greek and American products are also growing in popularity.

“Our research shows that the average world food shopper has a distinctly different profile from other shoppers in the savoury ambient category, which also includes canned products, cooking sauces and breakfast cereals (see notes to editors). Some 60% of them are aged 18 to 34, versus 31% average for the whole category. This younger demographic might explain some of the enthusiasm we see for world foods and why exotic tastes are becoming so popular.”

Denney-Finch added that ranges had to be managed carefully, however.

“While shoppers’ enjoyment for world food does translate into clear opportunities for wholesalers, retailers and suppliers,  over a third (35%) of world food shoppers would actually be happy with a smaller range, suggesting many of them can find the wide choice daunting and the aisle tricky to navigate,” she said. “Many of the brands can be unfamiliar and wholesalers need to ensure the aisle is well signposted and laid out in-depot.  Tactics as meal solutions, recipe ideas and in-depot theatre can also help.”


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