Savvy shoppers check around for the best quality and price

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SAVVY shoppers are visiting two or more supermarkets in the same trip and almost half are reducing food waste in efforts to save money, according to a study.

Almost seven in ten food and grocery shoppers (68 per cent) said they were now prioritising saving money, the IGD ShopperVista research revealed.

The poll revealed 42 per cent of shoppers have visited two or more supermarkets in the same shopping trip during the last month, and 48 per cent are reducing food waste to save money.

A further 29 per cent have paid for their shopping in two parts to benefit from a loyalty scheme or promotion over the last year.

Despite being increasingly price-aware, shoppers aren’t shying away from investing in quality products, said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch. She said: “Just because people are interested in saving money it doesn’t mean they have to compromise on the quality of their food.”

Smart shoppers are, she said, finding imaginative ways to save money and maintain quality at the same time.

“As well as planning better, reducing food waste and cooking from scratch, shoppers are becoming more creative.

“This includes going to more than one store in a single shopping trip, as they continue to find ways to secure the best value during the downturn.

“Smartphones, money-saving websites and apps have helped people make more informed choices and find the deals and promotions that allow them to save money while maintaining quality.”

High-end retailer Waitrose topped a recent Which? poll of the best supermarket to shop at in-store for the fourth year in a row, but was closely followed by budget stores Aldi and Lidl in terms of pricing and fresh produce quality.

The consumer watchdog said that supermarkets had to offer shoppers both quality of produce and acceptable pricing in order to be perceived as good value for money.

The findings come as supermarkets announced reduced profits across the board,

Poor weather hindered sales within supermarkets’ spring and summer ranges, including seasonal clothing, barbecue items and garden furniture

Scotmid announced operating profits in the year to 26 January 2013 were down from £6.5 million the previous year to £6 million, a decrease of 7.7 per cent.

Chief executive John Brodie called the results “positive” in a time of “difficult economic conditions.”

Tesco suffered an annual profits decrease of 51 per cent to £1.96 billion, and announced a campaign to cut food waste.

Consumers throw out an average of £680 worth of food each year, and Tesco said that it planned to sell food in smaller sizes at its convenience stores and tailoring ­promotions away from goods with shorter shelf lives.

Nearly half of consumers (46 per cent) questioned in the report said planning and budgeting is a higher priority now, with 57 per cent of those with children – regardless of social class – saying they put more effort into their shopping to maintain quality while keeping costs down.

Joanne Denney-Finch added: “The best companies are 
working with shoppers to
help them stretch their money further without sacrificing quality.”