There is no doubt that Irish consumers are continuing to feel the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, with many shifting their shopping habits as we become savvier and more selective in our spending. With that, we wanted to gauge the impact this was having on Irish consumers, while also seeking out the new trends and behaviours that come with it.

In our latest consumer behaviour research burst we focused much more on this topic which seems to have now replaced Covid19 as the key concern of the Irish population. 

The results paint an interesting picture of who we are, where we shop and most importantly how we shop…

Shopping Behaviour

Amid heightened inflation, unsurprisingly, 71% of Irish consumers are spending more on their weekly grocery shop than they were this time last year. 1/3 of respondents are spending €51 or more on their main weekly grocery shop, with 69% of respondents shopping for between 2-4 people. Spending is highest amongst the cohorts 45-54’s (76%) and HKWK (76%) with the 25-34’s age cohort spending the least at 67%. The findings suggest that people in the older age cohort are the most financially secure of all people living in Ireland. With those in their late 20’s and early 30’s feeling the pinch most.

Planning tip: Clever use of data amplifies campaign relevance, transforming digital Out of Home advertising into a real-time marketing platform. Using data, brands can target those hard-to-reach audiences (25-34’s & 18-24’s) hitting them with a value message – driving immediate engagement and boosting real-time conversion.

Brand Loyalty

Irish consumers are embracing discount retailers more in an attempt to save money with 54% already having switched their main grocery providers as the cost-of-living crisis bites. We have also become a nation of those who are willing to shop around with 63% of respondents using between 2-3 different grocery stores a week. The numbers buying private-label products is high (54%) across most categories with consumers showing brand loyalty most to hot & soft drinks, alcohol, and confectionery brands.

Planning tip: People are exposed to a broad range of mediums every day. A strategically planned multi-format, multi-environment campaign maximises reach and ensures consumers are influenced at all stages of the consumer journey. Brands that include proximity targeting alongside broadcast awareness formats are more likely to be selected by consumers.  

Smart Spending

One of the main highlights of the research is the emerging trend of savvy shoppers. 63% of respondents are now making lists, with 83% of those prepping the list the day of or the day before shopping.

Planning tip: There is an opportunity for brands to steal share of mind in the planning phase, and capture consumers’ attention throughout the purchasing journey. Out of Home is a great medium for driving brand awareness through its ability to reach audiences, cost effectively.

In summary, although Irish consumers are feeling the pinch of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis there is still spending power there, with many just being a bit more selective with their purchases. Overall, consumers are looking for value with 53% using more vouchers and money-off coupons. For retailers to thrive in this challenging environment and maintain consumer engagement, they must remain focused on delivering value to the customer.

Methodology: Spark Market Research conducted the online survey of a main urban sample of 250 respondents between the ages of 16-54. Research was conducted on the last week of February/beginning of March 2023.