More than half (54%) of UK shoppers say they will be more careful about spending money in the future than they currently are, regardless of economic recovery, according to research.

A study published today (13 October) by grocery analysts IGD found that only 5% predict that they will be more frivolous, while 39% do not think they will change.

When asked how they anticipated grocery shopping in 2012, looking beyond the recession, many shoppers said they would make a number of changes.

Around 29% said they will shop at discounters more, 26% will shop more at farmers’ markets, while 22% said they will be shopping more online.

“Shoppers expect to be more careful in making their choices than today,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD. “That doesn’t mean trading down – at least according to shoppers. Almost half expect to enjoy a better quality of food by 2012, with only 7% expecting it to be worse. So shoppers intend to keep changing their habits, seeking more from less, and they expect the food and grocery industry to keep delivering better value.”

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The study also found that by 2012 nearly a fifth (37%) of shoppers expect to be buying more local and regional food, while 34% will be looking for more food that
meets high animal welfare standards and 31% expect to buy more Fairtrade products.

“Shopper predictions don’t always come to pass and companies can always redirect trends by responding in new ways to consumer needs, but shoppers are saying that the tide of change is only just underway,” Denney-Finch added. “It’s a challenge for the food industry but also a big opportunity. The more value companies can add, the stronger shopper loyalty will be.”