Study notes great divide in shopping behavior

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    The lockdowns that have most Filipinos cooped up at home for the past seven months have revealed the great divide between the haves and the have-nots.

    In his presentation at a virtual briefing hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), John Patrick Cua, managing director at Nielsen’s Retail Intelligence, said two kinds of shoppers have emerged during the pandemic.

    On one end of the spectrum are the so-called insulated shoppers , those in the A, B and C market who are not affected by the crisis, still have a job, are working from home and have some spare cash. On the other end are the constrained shoppers, the daily wage earners who lost their jobs, incomes compressed, subsist on the basics and rely on government support.

    Cua said while both prioritize food and health products in their shopping baskets, “their spending behaviors are very different. The impact (of the pandemic will not be equal,” said Cua, noting there are opportunities for brands especially for those who still spend and are in fact upgrading.

    “There’s room for premiumization,” said Cua, referring to the ABC market’s shift to healthier food and their tendency to buy treats on impulse to make them happy.

    The conscious shoppers look for affordability and value for money as they become more risk averse. Some even downgrade to house brands .

    “They really focused on the essential milk sugar coffee noodles rice meat and sanitizer and vitamins, and the rest. You need to put it aside (like buying) new clothes,” Cua said.