GERMANY, Frankfurt. The stingy mentality seems to be slowly dwindling in Germany. In 2019, supermarkets will benefit from this in comparison to low-cost suppliers.
German consumers remain price-conscious, but are also increasingly willing to spend more money on attractive offers and ecologically sustainable products. This is the result of a recent study by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK), which is reported in the Lebensmittelzeitung. Supermarkets benefited from this trend last year, increasing their sales by around 3%. The discounters grew much less strongly with a plus of only 0.9%.
Low unemployment and rising real wages have contributed to the current development. In 2009, when asked about their own financial situation, only 27% of households said they could "afford almost anything", whereas this figure has now risen to 42%. At the same time, the number of households which in their own estimation "can afford almost nothing" fell from 26 to 17%.
The greater financial leeway appears to be changing the priorities in terms of reaching for the shelf. According to GfK, 55% of consumers currently pay particular attention to quality when shopping, with only 45% looking primarily at price. Ten years ago, the ratio was the other way round: price was more important than quality to most people. The market researchers reported that younger consumers in particular are concerned about freshness, regional origin, artisanal production and support for smaller producers.