Source: The Mercury, 2 October, 1996.


Spending a penny
in supermarkets


The Aussie supermarket shopper


AUSTRALIAN grocery
shoppers want a larger
health food section in
their supermarkets, shorter
checkout queues, lower
prices - and toilets on
site.

   New research released
yesterday shows the
average Australian
grocery shopper is also
demanding more
organically grown fruit
and vegetables.

   One quarter of shoppers
surveyed rated food safety
as the most important
issue, 25% said low prices
were the critical factor,
while 15% said Australian-
made products were
essential.

   A massive 70% said
toilets in supermarkets
would be a good idea.

   There was also strong
interest in safe food
handling, environmental
matters, and access to
nutrition information.

   The research,
commissioned by the
Australian Supermarket
Institute, revealed a
profile of the average
Australian grocery
shopper who is likely to
be increasingly targeted
by supermarket chains.

   The average shopper is
likely to be a woman aged
about 40, employed,
married or living with a
partner, and likely to have
no children living at
home.

   One shopper at
Eastlands yesterday
suggested the ideal
supermarket would
establish "gossip bays"
to avoid crammed aisles
while shoppers
conversed.

   Another shopper, Carol
Inches of Bellerive, said
lighting in the vegetable
section made produce
seem fresher than it was.

   "The freshness varies at
the time of week," Mrs
Inches said. "It's pretty
good earlier in the week
but not so great by
Saturday. Prices also vary
a lot, and daily."

   Mrs Inches, 37, who
has a job and three
teenage children,
estimates her fortnightly
grocery bill is $250.

   She spends an extra $10
in daily trips for fresh
produce to prevent
wastage.

   "Staff are important, as
is being able to find
things, and having
products clearly marked
both with the price and
use-by dates," she said.

   She refuses to use
selfserve salad bars.


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