Grocery inflation, Pride, social use: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

Majority of Brits say Pride-focused brand activity is for PR purposes

Consumers have a negative view of the sincerity of brands’ efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month.

YouGov data shows 75% of the 6,000 people surveyed believe brands’ activity around Pride month is solely for PR purposes rather than a sincere desire to show support for the LGBTQ+ community, a figure which rise to 79% when LGB+ consumers are asked.

Those who believe that brands do have a sincere desire to support the queer community is less than a tenth of the sample (7%) and although the figure rises slightly for those in the LGB+ community (12%), it is despairingly low for brands investing in a Pride marketing campaign.

There are some generational differences at play with younger consumers (18 to 24) nearly three times more likely than those aged 65+ to believe brands are being sincere in their Pride communications (11% versus 4%), however, two-thirds of 18– to 24-year-olds are equally as cynical about the intentions of brands and believe it to be for PR purposes.

The data indicates most UK consumers believe brands are engaging in ‘rainbow-washing’ where positive messages about the LGBTQ+ community are put out with the expectation of very little in the way of action to support them beyond kind words.

Source: YouGov

Grocery inflation reaches lowest level so far this year

Grocery inflation has fallen to the lowest level so far this year, dropping to 16.5% in the four weeks to 11 June 2023.

Despite this being the lowest level of inflation in 2023 so far, it is the sixth-highest monthly rate of inflation recorded since 2008.

The proportion of households stating they are either ‘extremely’ or ‘very worried’ about the rising cost of food and drink has risen to 70%. This has increased from just over two-thirds stating the same in January this year.

The Kantar figures also show the discounters have again grown the fastest out of the major UK supermarkets. Aldi grew at 24.6% in the four weeks to 11 June to reach a new record market share of 10.2%. Lidl grew almost as fast at 23.2%, giving it 7.7% of the market.

Morrisons’ value range, Morrisons Savers, is the fastest growing in the UK, with its sales almost double versus last year. Morrisons grew modestly by 0.8% during the period. This is the fourth consecutive period of growth for the supermarket, and comes after a time of decline.

Source: Kantar

Customers increasingly on hunt for lowest prices

Consumers are taking it upon themselves to ease the effects of inflation with more than 60% of customers now actively looking for the lowest price when shopping.

The survey of 3,000 adults from IPA TouchPoints across the UK shows 60.9% of shoppers now look for the lowest price and best deals when shopping (up 11% on 2020) and that 41.6% search for money-off vouchers (up by 31% since 2020) to lower the cost of their shop.

Financial difficulties have also made consumers significantly less loyal to their preferred brand, the data shows, with half of consumers (52.9%) saying they will gladly switch brands to make use of a coupon (up by 13%).

Meanwhile, 42.7% use a range of supermarkets and shops for their weekly groceries in order to get the best prices, up 14% from 37.5% in 2020.

Supermarkets continue to attract the greatest weekly reach of all shopping outlets at 63.6% (although this itself is down 7% since 2020). But the number of shoppers on the high street has fallen by 17% (from 40.5% to 33.6%) since 2020; shopping centre reach has fallen 8% (from 21.0% to 19.3%) and out-of-town retail parks have fallen 3% (from 14.7% to 14.2%). Meanwhile, online shopping has increased slightly since 2020, up by 3% from 49.4% to 50.7%.

TouchPoints also reveals consumers are spending an hour longer at home than they did in pre-lockdown 2020 – with the mean hours spent inside now at 18 hours and 43 minutes a day, up from the 17 hours and 37 minutes a day consumers were at home before.

Source: IPA TouchPoints

Consumer confidence starting to return of rising interest rates

Consumer confidence is edging up despite stubborn inflation and the Bank of England raising interest rates to a 15-year high of 5% last week.

The inflation rate was 8.7% in May – as it was in April – stopping the downward trend from its peak of 11.1% last year, with the Office for National Statistics suggesting rising prices for “air travel, recreational and cultural goods and services” are keeping it high.

But despite this consumers are becoming slightly more positive in their outlook, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Barometer from GfK.

The overall index score improved by three points in June, taking it up to -24, which although still in negative territory is a marked improvement on the -41 recorded in June 2022.

The biggest improvement was seen in people’s view of their personal financial situation over the coming year, which increased by seven points to -1. This marks the third consecutive month of improvement and means it is just shy of returning to a positive position, something not seen since December 2021. It is also a 27-point increase compared to June last year.

Consumers’ feelings about their own finances over the past 2 months has also improved, up five points to -15.

Looking at the wider economy, there has been a five-point increase in people’s outlook for it next year, taking it to -25. Again this is a significant uptick compared to 2022 when the figure stood at -57. People’s view of the economy over the past 12 months remains static at -54.

Source: GfK

Time spent on social media drops

European social media use fell by four minutes in Q1 2023 compared to the same period last year.

The average time spent on social media platforms now stands at two hours and 1 minute per day for European users with new research from GWI showing all regions (except North America) had a drop as usage starts to level off after a pandemic high.

In the UK, use of social media dropped to one hour and 46 minutes from the one hour and 52 minutes recorded in 2018.

There’s good news for individual apps, however, as TikTok continues to grow in popularity with it now being 9% of social media users’ favourite app (a jump of 100% to the same time in 2021. WhatsApp and Instagram continue to be the world’s favourite platforms with both sitting on 21% and Facebook sits in third as 20% of users favourite platform (albeit a sharp drop of 14% from the same time in 2021).

The report of 970,000 consumers also finds that keeping in touch with friends and family is the most popular reason for using social media (54%), with many consumers also using social platforms to catch up on news headlines (27%). In fact the number of Western TikTok users using the platform to keep up-to-date with the news has jumped by 41% in two years.

Consumers are also leaning on social media platforms to discover what’s trending/being talked about (22%), with the number of consumers turning to TikTok for information about products and brands rising by 52%.

Source: GWI