“What’s for dinner tonight?” Mark asks as he finishes work and calls his wife. She says she’s had a busy day at work, has just picked up the kids from day care and asks him to pick up some items for dinner that night and not to forget something quick for lunch tomorrow.

In supermarkets, shoppers are now more than ever looking for solutions rather than a product on price promotion. The “small shop mission to take home for use that day” has increased from 10% to 15% in the last year. Shoppers are thinking about what’s for dinner, lunch, what drinks and snacks they can have in between meals more so than just stocking up. Research by Shopper Tracker shows the top categories shoppers think about for dinner tonight and reflects a range of products.

The list in New Zealand and Australia includes the spectrum from meal components (e.g. meat, vegetables, simmer/stir fry sauces) to in-between easy to cook options (e.g. Chilled Pasta and Sauce, Frozen Chicken, Fresh Fish) to increasingly more convenience solutions (e.g. BBQ/Hot Chicken, Frozen Meals, Chilled Ready Meals).


Shoppers are more demanding today than they have ever been and technology is the vehicle that is fast tracking the information age. Whether it is price comparison or overall health and well-being needs such as organic, protein levels, gluten free, grass fed, cage free, sugar content and fat, shoppers have product source and sustainability top of mind. The top 10 food and beverage products where shoppers want ethical sourcing in supermarkets are shown below.


The continual focus on price from grocery retailers has left the premium consumption opportunity open. Shoppers are willing to pay more for these premium options and want these reflected in certain categories in the supermarket. If you consider Tea for example, for a number of years, black tea has been a staple however in more recent times there has been a significant shift to premium black varieties, green and flavoured teas. Out of home stores such as T2 have helped drive premiumisation in the category and shoppers now want this in the supermarket. Tea is the 13th highest category in NZ supermarkets where shoppers are willing to pay more for better quality.


It’s the early morning shift in the petrol and convenience channel and Rahul a c-store owner turns on the pie warmer for the first rush of tradies. Two hours later he notices there are still pies remaining, which is a more common occurrence these days. He decides to wait until placing more product in the warmers mid-morning. Lunchtime arrives and he finally needs to restock product where only few years ago he would have stocked the warmer four times by lunch. On the other side of the store, popular flavours of Liquid Breakfast, Protein drinks and Healthy Snacks are running out of stock.

Shoppers today have the power and they are shifting their own and their family’s consumption behaviours. Double income households who are time poor are under increasing pressure to work out what their meals will be during the week. The MasterChef revolution has inspired many households, however cooking from scratch is under increasing pressure as shoppers search for quick, easy and healthy meal ideas and inspirations.

Shopper Tracker measures what shoppers think, want and do. We benchmark the position of categories by country, channel, retailer, against other categories and to brand level to improve promotional efficiency, build fact based proposals and inform credible joint plans for growth.