Consumers reported that they are making cutbacks across both grocery and discretionary spending. The top tactic (with 63% of Scottish consumers agreeing they are doing this) was a reduction in treats. Trading down by buying cheaper groceries was next, with 57% agreement.

Similarly, when questioned about eating out behaviour, Scottish consumers were also making changes – predominantly reducing the frequency of eating out occasions (58% said they were eating out less often).

Meanwhile a quarter said they were spending less when eating out, for example by choosing cheaper establishments, having fewer courses, or not drinking alcohol when out of the home. In addition, almost half of consumers were having fewer takeaways.

Colin Smith, chief executive of the SWA, said: “Scotland has always had different consumer purchasing habits and trading patterns to the rest of the UK. It’s important that the SWA, as the industry trade body for wholesale, continues to help our members and the sector understand what’s happening in the trade and with wider consumer behaviour.

“Working with TWC, this research will help wholesalers look at where they should be focusing their efforts, looking at stock ranges and price points and how they assist the end users adapt to the evident change in consumer purchasing habits.”

A full update of the Scottish research findings will be presented at a SWA ‘Scottish Cost of Living Breakfast Briefing’ webinar on Thursday 18t August, 9am-9.30am. Registration can be made on the website.

The TWC research was conducted on 14-18 June 2022 with over 1,000 consumers across the UK, plus a boosted sample for Scotland of 400 consumers.

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