Spending on Fresh Foods Varies Dramatically Throughout Europe

Spending on Fresh Foods Varies Dramatically Throughout Europe

Food culture is a way of life in Europe, and the region’s multi-cultural diversity is a food lover’s playground offering the best of old and new world shopping options for fresh foods. Variety and supply levels are inconsistent across the continent, however, given the range of climates and proximities to food sources, so consumer spending habits for fresh foods vary as well. Consumers in Italy and Spain spend the most on fresh foods, an average of 50 percent of their spending contributions, while consumers in Norway spend the least at 33 percent, according to new findings from the Nielsen Global Fresh Foods report, based on a survey of more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access from 58 countries.

The supermarket channel reigns supreme among online respondents in Europe, as 42 percent shop this outlet for meat, fish and produce. Good value, fresh products and the human connection make specialty retailers, such as the butcher for meats and poultry, the fish shop for seafood, the wet/open market for fruits and vegetables, and the bakery for breads, important destinations throughout Europe.

“Fresh products are integral to the success of the retailer, and razor-sharp expertise on shopper expectations is the key to unlocking the potential,” said Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, director, Retailer Industry Insights, Nielsen Belgium. “It is of paramount importance to map shopper expectancy clusters, eating habits and supply patterns of fresh products. Finding this balance is a task for merchant expertise. Consumers purchase fresh products with their eyes and as such, the display and presentation is of utmost importance. After selection and presentation comes the ultimate judge: the price. Those who find harmony in this maze will be rewarded with purchases and loyalty.”

Strategies to Win

“Improve the level of servicing in fresh store departments with a staff cross-trained in multiple areas from the deli counter, to the bakery to the produce department,” said Vandenheede. “Customers will appreciate the extra attention and the faster service.”


Other notable findings include:

  • Top retailer attributes for selecting where to shop for fresh foods.
  • In the U.S., fresh foods purchasing is growing in non-grocery channels.
  • Fresh foods contribute more than 50 percent of food, grocery and personal care spending in most Asian countries.
  • Specialty retailers are “fresh” options in Latin America.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Fresh Foods Report.