Stigma of buying reduced food has gone

53% of shoppers buy from the reduced section

There is no longer a stigma in buying food bearing a "reduced" label as shoppers take pride in getting a bargain, according to a supermarket.

A survey for Waitrose found 53% of shoppers buy from the reduced section more often than they did five years ago, with the figure rising to 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds.

More than a quarter (26%) of consumers believe there is no longer a stigma attached to buying reduced food, with 67% saying they are better at getting a good deal than they were five years ago and 37% saying they hate to see food go to waste.

The grocer's annual Food and Drink Report says: "Britain has become a nation of agile, price-savvy value-hunters.

"Our survey found that we're not afraid to hunt out special offers or buy food from the 'reduced' shelf to save money.

"Customers enjoy exercising control over their budgets and tracking down the best deals."

It adds: "There is no snobbishness about mixing and matching between brands or budget ranges, using our increased knowledge to get the best deal.

"It's less about saving money, and more about not wasting it."

However, it seems that certain products are still sacrosanct.

The poll found Britons are resistant to compromising on meat, wine, chocolate, coffee and toilet rolls, with the report noting: "If we do need to make cutbacks, we're more likely to reduce the amount we buy, rather than choose a lower quality."

The survey also found that 65% of Britons now visit a supermarket more than once a day on a regular or occasional basis.

The report said: "We no longer need to plan meals in advance as it's so easy to shop for whatever we want at the last minute.

"A third of us don't decide what to have for dinner until at least 4pm that day, with 11% of us making a selection just before we eat."

The change in shopper behaviour has seen Waitrose moving to small, shallow trolleys as many customers move away from doing one big weekly shop.

An average Waitrose would open with around 200 big trolleys and 150 shallow "daily shopper" trolleys lined up outside "just a few years ago", but now a shop launch sees 250 shallow trolleys and just 70 large ones needed.

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