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UK Insights

Are Scottish consumers buying Scottish groceries?

Kirsty Cooke

Head of Digital Content, UK

Shoppers 29.11.2017 / 11:00


Kantar Worldpanel has revealed supermarket shopping trends in Scotland – where there is a preference for own-label products along with some local flavour.

The first Brand Footprint ranking of Scotland's most chosen FMCG brands from Kantar Worldpanel doesn’t differ much from the UK list, as you'll see below. What has been uncovered, however, is a preference for supermarket own-label products – which have overtaken branded goods for the first time.

Top -20-brands -UK-scotland -kantar

More than £5 billion was spent on own-brand products in Scottish stores this year – just over half of total spend – and 50.4% of all products bought in Scottish stores this year were own-label.

The rising number of own-label products in shoppers' baskets means the market has been challenging for brands, with only 12 of the top 20 brands in Scotland seeing growth over the last year.

My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;

While the top ten brands in Scotland may be the same as the UK, just in a different order, there are some differences as you move down the list. The first of the Scottish brands, Irn Bru, is featured at position 13; Graham’s the Family Dairy is at number 19. 'Each operates in a different category, but a similar focus on innovation and a brand diversification strategy has helped them extend their presence and impact in the market,' says Kantar Worldpanel analyst Amanda Brown. 'Brands that perform well have capitalised on their heritage and have marketed themselves as quintessentially Scottish.'

Irn -bru -scotland

Of the best known Scottish brands, 30 appear in the top 500, with 18 of those improving on their position from last year. These top 30 account for 68% of the spend on local brands in Scotland. However, Scottish brands account for just under 5% of grocery spend in Scotland. In the UK as a whole, sales of Scottish brands account for only 1.6 per cent of total grocery spend.

Top -30-scottish -brands -kantar

Brown comments: 'Scots have always been more loyal to local [Scottish] products than in other parts of the UK but as own-label ranges grow then Scottish shoppers have grown to trust them more. Scots want to see Scottish products in stores and are happy to buy home-grown chicken, beef, lamb or pork even it is a supermarket’s own label as they know it was produced here.'

Sales of fresh produce in Scotland also passed the £1bn mark for the first time in 2017, with Scots shoppers buying considerably more fruit and vegetables now than they were two years ago.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!

And what about good old haggis? Well, Kantar Worldpanel says it is currently worth £10.9m at a Great Britain level and £4.9m in Scotland. More interestingly, almost 32% of Scottish shoppers have bought haggis in the last year, and outside Scotland, the North East of England is the next biggest region with 7% of shoppers buying. At a national level, the penetration figure is 6.9%. Basically, we’re not buying it that much more often in Scotland (2.7 times per year vs 2.3 times)... there’s just a whole lot more of us buying!

The two leading brands are Macsween and Simon Howie who between them account for two thirds of the total Haggis Sales.

Scotland _Haggis

The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men, Gang aft agley

According to Brown, 'The shock Brexit vote in 2016 and the threat of an Indy Ref 2 has meant uncertainty for the food and drink supply chain in Scotland. Furthermore, rising ingredient costs, price inflation and currency fluctuations are all contributing towards a more challenging competitive environment both at home and internationally. For shoppers this too has meant that their food and drink bills have started to rise.'

Aldi and Lidl have made their mark on the Scottish market, opening more stores – they now have 185 between them – and attracting more customers. 8 out of 10 Scots shopped there in the last year. Meanwhile, and rather at the other end of the spectrum, M&Shas out-performed in Scotland where its premium, convenient offering is tempting shoppers into their stores more often. Growth is +19.5% year on year, with 53% of Scots shopping here and more than penetration in London, which is 49%.

Smart -scots -give -it -aldi

Brown notes: 'The rise of the discount stores in Scotland has had a massive impact, as many more Scots have access to and Aldi or Lidl as they open more shops across the country. But it will be interesting to see what happens over Christmas, as the majority of shoppers revert to big-name brands as it is a time of year when more family and friends come to visit and they like to put on a show of quality.'

Scottish towns have the most competition between retailers in the UK, with 88% of those analysed in Scotland having above average competition levels – that is, areas with a high number of supermarket and discount stores compared to the population.

O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink!

New legislation around the amount of sugar in soft drinks may present challenges to brands, but it has driven innovation, with A G Barr successfully launching Irn Bru Xtra. This is a sugar-free variant of their legendary soft drink, which has attracted new shoppers into the brand and achieved 15% penetration in its first year.

Scotland is known across the world for its whisky industry, but is also growing its reputation in craft beer. In the UK we’ve seen Brewdog win more national listings, delivering impressive growth, and entering the Top 100 Alcohol Brands for the first time. Scottish Gin has also been creating a buzz in the UK market (as well as overseas) with sector sales growing by 65% in the last year, with notable brand successes from Edinburgh Gin, Caorunn, Blackwoods, The Botanist and Hendricks.


Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

All data is Kantar Worldpanel, Brand Footprint, 52 w/e 18/6/17

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