Insights

12 Items or Less: The Small Basket Opportunity
Article

12 Items or Less: The Small Basket Opportunity

On-the- go Kiwi consumers want their meals to be quick and convenient. Over the past year we’ve seen big increases in those who eat on the run (+10%) and buy take-away food to eat at home (+45%). For those with limited time between the end of the work day and dinner time, meal kits, such as My Food Bag, and prepared meals are proving to be invaluable; according to Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights research, over 250,000 New Zealanders had meal kits delivered in the past month.

The desire for dinner on the double extends to consumers’ grocery trips. Shoppers want a supermarket where it’s quick and easy to find what they need. New Zealanders are increasingly stopping at the store for just a few ingredients – the number of small baskets shops (12 items or less) have grown in value twice as fast as big shops over the past three years. With small baskets accounting for 45% of New Zealanders shopping occasions and generating $1.4 billion in sales there’s ample opportunity for retailers and suppliers.

The most common items found in small baskets are milk, bread and fresh produce. But there are some marked differences in shopping behaviour across supermarket banners. Understanding these differences and relative strengths by banner will help drive more meaningful conversations between suppliers and retailers with the ultimate goal of winning the increasingly important small basket occasion.

New World wins small baskets in the premium and fresh spaces. A small basket shopped there is nearly 40% more likely to contain a bottle of wine compared to a small shop at Countdown. We also see significant differentiation from in-store bakery and butchery which are each around 1.5 times as likely to appear in a New World small basket versus Countdown or PAK’nSAVE. While confectionery ranks highly in small baskets in all three banners, a New World basket is 27% more likely to contain a premium 100g chocolate block than a Countdown basket.

Countdown, with the larger store footprint, wins in biscuits and snackfoods. Potato chips are 20% more likely to appear in a small basket at Countdown versus New World. Water and pet snacks also feature more often compared to other supermarket banners.

Even while enticing shoppers with ‘savings by the bulkload’, close to 8.5 million small basket trips were made at PAK’nSAVE in the last year. Fresh Seafood is more likely to show up in a small shop at PAK’nSAVE than other banners, and more than twice as likely when comparing to Countdown. PAK’nSAVE is also winning small baskets with yoghurt, margarine, prepacked bacon, frozen vegetables, and instant coffee.

The preference of products purchased within categories at different New Zealand retailers is varied. Catering to convenience and different trip missions to make it easier for Kiwi shoppers is an important strategy for retailers and suppliers to consider. Globally, we see store formats adapting to the trend; 87% of expansions in the U.S. are small stores. Providing a shallower loop for shoppers in store layouts, coupled with developing stores as destinations of choice for top ups, could help retailers win their share of the $1.4 billion (and growing) small basket market in NZ.

ABOUT NIELSEN HOMESCAN SHOPPER PANEL

Our Shopper Panel is robust, trusted, credible and one of the biggest shopper panels per capita in the world. It monitors shopper behaviour across a panel of 2,500 households, which is projected to represent the New Zealand population and retailing landscape.

Shopper data is collected via handheld scanners that transmit data directly to us. This data can be used to identify key shopper behaviour across key grocery outlets. Our point-of-sale technology for our retail measurement services captures sales and price data from virtually every major retail chain.