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OCU indicates increased consumption of healthier products

13 may. 2015
Study on food shopping habits

A study by OCU on buying habits notes that in the past two years, consumers report having bought more fruit, vegetables and fish, and in turn, bought fewer pastries, desserts and sugary drinks. The data from this study of the criteria that consumers use when they go food shopping appears in the May magazine of OCU Compra Maestra.

In preparing this study OCU has taken into account the experience of 1,259 consumers aged between 25 and 74. Its aim was to determine the criteria that guide their purchases of food, if they have been modified in recent years and if consumers are receptive to more responsible habits and more sustainable products. The sample is representative of the Spanish population in terms of age, sex, geographic distribution and education.

84% of consumers usually buy in the supermarket. The dominance of this type of establishment coexists with more traditional shops, but the OCU survey also points out that other types of commerce are emerging.

84% Supermarket

39% Grocers and local shops

24% Traditional markets

4% Organic produce shops

4% Direct from farmers, growers and producers

1% 24 hour petrol stations

70% of consumers consider price as the key in choosing the place to shop for food. This is followed by convenience regarding the location of the shop (66%) product variety (59%) hygiene (41%) product freshness (37%) a wide range of discount brands (36%) and finally the quality of the product (23 %).

In order to know the evolution of consumer habits, OCU asked consumers if they have changed their buying habits in relation to various food products. The results are shown in the following illustration. The positive sign indicates the percentage of people who have bought more and the negative of those who have bought less in the last 2 years:

Organic produce              +18%/-17%

Own label/cheaper       +45%/-9%

Sugary drinks            +6%/-39%

Pastries and desserts   +5%/-63%

Cereals                 +19%/-19%

Vegetables               +39%/-6%

Fruit                    +39%/-8%

Meat                     +6%/-30%

Fish                     +27%/-18%

Analysis of this data shows that the eating habits of consumers are now healthier. We eat more fruit and vegetables and buy significantly fewer pastries and sugary drinks. It also seems that we eat less meat.

The crisis is still affecting the buying habits of consumers. From their answers it appears that 45% of consumers buy more own label products in recent years compared with only 9% who buy fewer.

Finally, one of the aspects that has most interested OCU is labeling information. Despite manufacturers and retailers insisting otherwise, consumers do pay attention to labels. 64% always or almost always read the label and only 5% never read this information. The chart below shows the information which consumers look at most on labels:

Expiry date                               96%

Ingredients                               71%

Best before date                          63%

Country of origin                         57%

Nutritional information/how many calories 56%

Cooking instructions                      55%

Additives                                 48%

In order to clarify the doubts of all consumers, OCU has started up the campaign #sabemosloquecomemos (do we know what we are eating) which uses social networks and the web to encourage the mobilisation of consumers for clear and correct food labelling.

For more information (media): Eva Jimenez Tel .: 91 722 60 61 -