Pinoys enjoy grocery shopping most among SEA consumers

Posted at 08/11/2011 12:27 PM | Updated as of 08/11/2011 12:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines - In the Southeast Asian region, Filipino consumers take the most pleasure from buying groceries, a recent survey found.

Eighty percent of Filipinos said they find joy in grocery shopping, an activity usually considered as a chore, according to Nielsen's Philippine Shopper Trends Report 2011. Only one in 10 consumers claimed to "quite dislike" buying household items.

Consumers in Thailand are a distant second, with 66% saying that they like grocery shopping.

Marge Martinez, Nielsen's associate director for retail services, said this finding is "unique to consumers in the country."

"With 85% of the Philippines' population falling into the lower-income bracket, grocery shopping continues to be a way for some consumers to entertain themselves and spend time with their families at the same time," she said in a statement.

"Most consumers take this must-do activity in their stride and even derive enjoyment from this activity, which may be seen as many consumers in other countries as a chore."

Females still do the grocery shopping most of the time (67%), but the survey showed a rise in the percentage of male shoppers through the years.

"The growth of the business process outsourcing industry in the past 3 years in the Philippines has driven women to take more of a proactive role in seeking employment and landing a job," Martinez explained.

"We therefore see more men and women sharing household responsibilities from bringing food to the table to taking care of the children to doing errands for the household needs."

The Philippine Shopper Trends Report 2011 was conducted between October and December 2010, and involved at least 1,500 respondents nationwide.

Where do they shop?

The survey said one-third of Filipino respondents spend their money most in supermarkets, while others go to sari-sari stores (28%) and wet markets (25%).

Martinez said this shows how consumers "are trying to find ways to be smarter about how they spend."

"As consumers continue to seek more value to stretch their pesos, supermarkets and other modern trade channels will increasingly need to become even more creative in their offering to cater to and attract the value-conscious consumers," she said.

They are also becoming more "price-sensitive" as they look for grocery stores with more promotional offers. The survey showed that 15% of respondents said they will switch to a different store to get a better offer, 3 points higher compared in 2009.

Seventy-percent of them, meanwhile, said they will continue to shop at the same store.

How often do they shop?

Filipino consumers, on average, will shop for groceries at least twice a month, the survey showed.

About 30% of them will buy groceries once a week, a third do it every fortnight, while 25% do it once a month.

They are most likely to "grab and go" -- or visit parts of stores to get what they want in contrast to spending an entire afternoon searching for things to buy. Martinez said this is because those from the lower-income classes are either pressed for time or are trying to manage their budgets.

"With the growing demand for more convenience and value, there are many opportunities for retailers to differentiate themselves by providing for an even more enjoyable shopping experience," she said.

The most "leisurely" shoppers in the Southeast Asian region, according to the survey, is Singapore, with only 9% saying that they want to get out of grocery stores quickly.