80% of consumers go two or three times a week for "top up" shops on food items, according to a new survey that organisers Market21 say supermarkets ignore at their peril. Larger retailers and manufacturers are still targeting the "weekly shopper" however, leaving the majority of those "top up" sales to corner shops and smaller convenience stores.

Retail analysts Market21 spent a year studying around 20m shopping baskets, and came to the conclusion that only 20% of the sales that make Australia's grocery sector worth an enormous £$42bn are made by the once a week shopper.

In the last six years, the number of weekly shops has dropped by over 40% and marketing director of Market21, Ross Dickinson, has pointed out the lack of interest the supermarkets are giving to the top up shopper. "There's a huge number of people doing top-up shopping but the retailers and especially the manufacturers have not reacted. The market is there to be exploited but they are still entrenched in their traditional views of the world,"

Dickinson points out the need for new marketing strategies in the supermarkets aisles if they are to profit from the top-up shopper. This may involve cross-promoting, less complicated store layouts, creating express checkouts near milk and bread products and establishing some 15 minutes parking bays near the entrance. Stores could also tempt top up consumers with main shop products in the express aisles.

If the value of each top up shop could be increased by just A$2.50, the survey calculates that a weekly turnover at a large supermarket could increase by 7%, or roughly A$50,000.