Supermarket shoppers want ‘fresh and local food’

Australian consumers want ‘fresh and local food’, according to the first CHOICE Supermarket Satisfaction Survey.

Local brands are the big winners, with NSW’s Harris Farm Markets and SA’s Foodland taking out the top spots.

Retail titans Coles and Woolworths were left propping up the bottom of the table, while Aldi struggled in the middle.

The survey also explored supermarket shoppers’ biggest gripes, which included too much packaging and long checkout waits.

‘Big lesson’

CHOICE.com.au Food Expert Rachel Clemons says shoppers’ preference for fresh and local food is the standout finding.

“The big lesson for Australian supermarkets is that fresh and local food matters,” Ms Clemons said.

“Over 2,800 people from the CHOICE community volunteered their time to tell us what they like and don’t like at their local supermarket.

“We asked them about everything from store presentation to value for money. The CHOICE community is renowned for being informed, discerning and savvy shoppers, so well done to the brands that impressed.”

CHOICE Supermarket Satisfaction Survey – overall ranking

  1. Foodland (overall score 82 per cent)
  2. Harris Farm Markets (81 per cent)
  3. Costco (76 per cent)
  4. Aldi (74 per cent)
  5. IGA/Supa IGA (73 per cent)
  6. FoodWorks (71 per cent)
  7. Woolworths (69 per cent)
  8. Coles (67 per cent).

In better news for Woolworths and Coles, CHOICE awarded ‘the big two’ high scores for their online delivery services.

Quality, not quantity

CHOICE says that “buying local” is a priority for many shoppers, whether it be to reduce food miles, support local producers, or for other reasons. In fact, says CHOICE, almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they were “frustrated” by the lack of local produce at their supermarkets.

One survey respondent, Rita from NSW, said: “Instead of stocking so many brands, supermarkets should concentrate on stocking fresher and locally produced produce.”

‘Too much packaging’ biggest gripe

The top five biggest gripes, according to CHOICE, were:

  1. Too much packaging on products (54 per cent)
  2. Lack of locally produced products (45 per cent)
  3. Long wait at the checkout (43 per cent)
  4. Products being unavailable / sold out (42 per cent)
  5. Lack of staff member to provide assistance (37 per cent).

Respondents also had their own takes, including what they saw as supermarkets’ obsession with price.

Wayne from Victoria said: “Supermarkets believe it’s all about ‘the lowest price’. To me, it’s more about range, quality and service.”

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