Posh food push

We’re choos­ing lux­ury brands for the feel-good fac­tor

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - KAREN COL­LIER karen.col­lier@news.com.au @KarenCol­lierHS

SU­PER­MAR­KET shop­pers are trad­ing up to “premium” din­ners, ice cream, tea and cof­fee.

The types of gro­ceries we are most likely to pay top dol­lar for have been re­vealed in a con­sumer sur­vey.

Meat and seafood are the top choice, fol­lowed by cof­fee and tea, dairy, hair care and eggs.

Up to one-third of shop­pers said they’d con­sider adding premium prod­ucts from key cat­e­gories to their bas­kets, the Nielsen re­search found.

Many are driven by en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, or­ganic, all-nat­u­ral or so­cially re­spon­si­ble claims.

Some also seek out higher price tags to feel good about them­selves or show off their suc­cess and “good taste”.

Nielsen re­tail di­rec­tor Ju­liane West­away said the emerg­ing premium gro- cery trend was across the board and not con­fined to wealth­ier cus­tomers.

Even su­per­mar­ket pri­vate la­bels had got in on the act, with Coles and Woolworths adding lines of in­dul­gent house­brand ice cream.

While bud­get­ing re­mained a key con­cern, fam­i­lies who pared back in other ar­eas of life could af­ford to add some lux­u­ri­ous treats to trol­leys.

“House­holds have cut back in terms of eat­ing out and en­ter­tain­ment,” Ms West­away said.

“With the trend to­wards more in­dul­gent ice cream, you are bring­ing out-ofhome con­sump­tion into the home and it doesn’t break the bank.”

Grow­ing num­bers were at­tracted to pricier black tea, herbal tea and infu- sions with health and well­ness ben­e­fits, and fair-trade cof­fee with “so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity” cre­den­tials.

“Nat­u­ral” sham­poos with botan­i­cal in­gre­di­ents were also pop­u­lar.

“There’s ra­tio­nal rea­sons to buy pre- mium, and an emo­tive side. For 35 per cent it makes them feel good ... it’s self­es­teem,” she said.

Nielsen de­fines premium prod­ucts as cost­ing at least 20 per cent more than the av­er­age price for the cat­e­gory.

Ms West­away said premium black tea cost as much as dou­ble that of a stan­dard tea bag. Yet sales vol­umes had grown 3 per cent across three years.

Premium ice cream had seen 9.5 per cent sales value growth over three years while other types of ice cream were in slight de­cline.

Chilled premium pet food was also per­form­ing par­tic­u­larly strongly.

The Nielsen re­search polled 500 Aus­tralians as part of a global study into gro­cery shop­ping habits.

Emily, Zoe and Ge­or­gia know what they like in ice cream. Pi­cure: KYLIE ELSE

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