GfK study: supermarkets are growing faster than discounters | Image header

GfK study: supermarkets are growing faster than discounters

The Corona pandemic has had an impact on many areas of life: Distance, hygiene regulations and special precautionary measures have also been noticeable in the purchasing behaviour of consumers in the food trade for around one and a half years. According to a study by market researcher GfK, discounters in Germany have lost further market share to supermarkets in the first six months of 2021. This is despite the fact that the survey of consumer sentiment among Germans suggests that buying behaviour is largely relaxed, satisfied and expectant – especially in contrast to the current situation. In this blog entry, you will find out what impact the pandemic has had on discounters and supermarkets in particular, and what the underlying causes of these developments are.

GfK’s Consumer Index: Prefer shopping in one place

GfK is the largest German market research institute. In a global comparison, the company ranks fifth. The company regularly analyzes purchasing behavior and the effects on the market. This allows important conclusions to be drawn about the trade.

The study published in the Consumer Index shows that the discounters suffered a decline in sales of 1.4% between January and June compared to the same period of the previous year. Meanwhile, supermarkets were able to increase their sales by 6.3% in the same period. Drug stores also increased: 2.6% accounted for the increase in sales. In the case of hypermarkets, it was at least 0.2%.

According to GfK market researchers, supermarkets have been developing better than discounters since the beginning of the global corona crisis. But why is that? Due to the fact that the pandemic also means financial losses for many households due to short-time working or even job loss, this development seems rather surprising. A main argument for this is the premise of staying in as few places as possible at these times. Consumers want to do their shopping in a single place: groceries, clothing, interior furnishings and the like – practically everything from a single source. In addition, the weekly shopping has almost become an excursion for families. True to the motto: supermarket instead of amusement park. Many consumers see consumption as a compensation for the current restrictions in the pandemic and therefore no longer look so strictly at the money when shopping. For discounters, this means one thing above all: expand the range! Because low prices alone are no longer enough. Nowadays, the shopping experience is clearly in the foreground.

What other effects does the pandemic have on purchasing behavior?

It’s not just the places where purchases are made that have changed over the course of the pandemic. Corona also had an impact on the goods purchased. In particular, the topic of sustainability continued to gain importance in the public consciousness, from which vegan offers and organic products in particular benefit between July 2020 and June 2021. Sales of vegan meat and cheese substitutes have increased by a full 44%. Vegan confectionery is up 41.9% and the demand for sustainable hygiene products is up by 20.7%.

It remains to be seen whether and to what extent the discounters can make up for these losses. Innovations and creative ideas are needed that will make the shopping experience of the future at Aldi, Lidl and Co. unforgettable. Do you want to stay up to date with these developments? Then subscribe to Ehlert’s blog.