The TWC Trends – Savvy Shopping report evidences the much talked about ‘k’ shaped economic recovery, with 4 in 10 shoppers agreeing they are struggling to make ends meet financially. Younger shoppers, particularly Millennials (aged 25-44) were most likely to agree with this statement, which is a challenge for the hospitality industry with this cohort eating out more than older age groups.

Promotions came out as the top driver for outlet choice across all age groups (38% agreement), but was particularly high amongst younger consumers, aligning to the greater likelihood of finances being under pressure for these consumers.
Sarah Coleman, Communications Director at TWC comments:

Consumer demand for promotions isn’t going to go away with looming high inflation so operators need to ensure that there is a clear benefit from running any deal, whether that is to drive footfall, increase transaction spend or collect customers’ details. Our research showed that over half of UK adults are happy for businesses to collect data about their spending and purchasing habits in exchange for better personalisation of offers. This is particularly true of younger consumers, with two-thirds of 18–34-year-olds agreeing with this statement.”

The report also highlighted the importance of reviews when looking for hospitality venues. Again, this was particularly important to younger consumers. Coleman explains: “This also came through in TWC Trends Online Explosion (, which showed reviews and ratings from other customers as an online ordering ‘must have’. This data suggests that the importance of reviews is not limited to the online world but is an important consideration for physical venue selection too.”

Other criteria determining venue choice included looking for healthy or healthier options, child-friendly hospitality venues, availability of plant based/meat-free alternatives and the opportunity to try new food types or genres.

Around one in five consumers said they are happy to spend a bit more on meals out compared to pre-pandemic. This was highest amongst Gen Z (consumers aged 18-24) at 30%.

Coleman explains: “Whilst 37% of this cohort say they are struggling financially, it seems that others are wanting to make up for lost time and are therefore prioritising socialising within their spending.”

This research on “Savvy shopping: Balancing value as well as premiumisation to meet divergent consumer needs” is the third in a series of new mini reports from TWC Trends.  The TWC Trends Autumn Edition 2021 series is based on the views and sentiments of over 1,000 consumers across the UK. The research was conducted between 5-8 November 2021.

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