‘Good Value’ Top Influencer of US Grocery Store Choice – Globally, Too

December 18, 2007

Good value is the most important factor in determining where consumers grocery-shop, with 60% of consumers in the US (and 85% globally) ranking “good value for money” as the most important consideration when choosing a grocery store, according to a study by The Nielsen Company.

Some 28% of US consumers cite selection of high-quality brands and products, 23% choose the grocery store that is closest, 14% choose the most convenient store with easy parking:


In contrast to US shoppers, Malaysian shoppers prefer supermarkets that offer the most convenient/easy parking; South Koreans, Indonesians and Germans like to shop at the supermarkets closest to them; Russians and Indians seek out supermarkets offering a better selection of high-quality brands and products; and Filipinos and Singaporean shoppers top global rankings for placing the most importance on getting good value for money.

“What shoppers demand from grocery retailers varies significantly across regions and countries, and with increasing consolidation and globalization of the retail industry it’s crucial for retailers to understand how shopper preferences differ across markets,” said Todd Hale, SVP of Consumer & Shopping Insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services.

Defining Good Value

Price, promotions and perceptions are most influential in helping define value among consumers citing “good value” as their most important consideration:


  • Some 80% of US shoppers consider it very important or somewhat important for supermarkets to feature frequent promotions and price discounts.
  • 72% say a store’s reputation for delivering low prices – even if in reality that’s is not the case – is very or somewhat important.
  • Ranking third and fourth are prices published in the stores’ leaflets (71%) and everyday low prices (70%), respectively.

(Also see the findings of an IBM study: “Grocery Industry Falls Short in Building Customer Loyalty“) 

“Our research shows that the importance of good value and low prices resonates much more with lower-income households in the US” said Hale. “More affluent households regard quality of fresh produce, meat and seafood and selection above good value.”

According to Nielsen’s research, three in four consumers around the world consider it very or somewhat important that supermarkets feature frequent promotions and regular price discounts, and 70% say it’s very or somewhat important that the store have a reputation for being cheaper than competitors. In third place are prices published in the stores’ leaflets (62%), followed by research and price comparisons across retailers (60%), price reductions offered through loyalty/store cards (57%) and stores that promised to have every day low prices (57%).

However, one in four (22%) Finnish shoppers do not consider price promotions and discounts to be important and the emerging European economies of Russia, Hungary and Estonia share this view.

“The retail and media trade are both highly fragmented in Russia’s urban centers and it’s difficult for consumers to receive and access information on price discounts and promotions,” said Hale. “The main reason Russian shoppers aren’t interested in promotions and regular price discounts is simply that they don’t know about them because advertising and promotional channels are still underdeveloped.”


The second most important attribute for US shoppers (28%), as well as shoppers around the world, is a better selection of high-quality brands and products.

“This is a perfect example of today’s conflicted shopper,” said Hale. “Demanding shoppers expect the best of both worlds from retailers today. On one hand, we’re all natural bargain hunters and insist on good value for our grocery dollar, and on the other hand, we expect retailers to stock a wide selection of high quality brands and products so we can indulge in our favorite premium treats. Consumers want the ‘cheapest of the cheap’ in some categories and the ‘best of the best’ in others.”

Highest rankings for choosing a supermarket that offers a better selection of high quality brands and products are consumers in the world’s booming economies of Russia (93%), India (79%), China (78%) and the emerging Baltic countries of Latvia (78%) and Lithuania (77%).

“In fast-growing, emerging markets, there are large numbers of consumers with growing disposable incomes and newly acquired, discerning tastes,” said Hale. “These consumers want premium international grocery products in their shopping baskets and seek out supermarkets with a better offering of high quality, branded products.”

About the survey: Conducted twice a year among 26,486 internet users in 47 markets in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East, the Nielsen survey most recently polled consumers on the factors that influence their choice of grocery store. The 47 markets covered: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, US and Vietnam.


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