While overall shopper confidence remains at one of the lowest levels on record, consumer trust in food has hit a seven-year high, according to the latest results from the IGD Shopper Confidence Index.
The IGD Shopper Confidence Index in May 2020 remains low at -10 which, despite its negative position, is the first time the figure has stayed at the same level as previous months. Expected financial confidence has increased by two points to a score of -23 with 47% of shoppers now expecting to be worse off in the year ahead, down from 50% in April.
Trust in the industry continues to buck the trend and, at +31, has remained unchanged in May.
Simon Wainwright, director of global insight at IGD, said: “Despite the low levels of overall confidence, it is encouraging that trust in the food and consumer goods industry remains high, suggesting that shoppers are increasingly appreciating the work of the sector throughout the pandemic.”
The report suggests that an easing of lockdown measures and the good weather may be holding back further declines in shopper confidence for now. However, the economic impact of Covid-19 is likely to have a big impact on shopper confidence in the future.
It also highlights significant changes in shopper confidence by region, which reflects how the pandemic is impacting the country. Shopper confidence has increased the most in London, which comes as London has seen a steeper drop in Covid-19 hospital admissions over the last month than any other region. In contrast, Scottish shoppers are the least confident.
Older shoppers aged 45-64 remain the least confident, with the report also suggesting that shoppers, many of whom will have family responsibilities, may be concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their health and economic prospects.
Simon Wainwright continued: “We are also seeing significant changes by region, reflecting how Covid-19 is impacting different parts of the country. As such, retailers need to keep an eye on how the pandemic is impacting different shopper groups as they plan for an evolving trading environment.
“This pace of change is going to make it harder to create any long, or even medium-term, category plans. Keeping on the pulse of how shoppers are feeling has never been so vital.”