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Revealed: The top 10 trends for shoppers in 2023

Revealed: The top 10 trends for shoppers in 2023
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Shrinkflation, sporting events and savvy grocery selections all influenced what Brits spent their cash on last year, research reveals.

Barclays data highlighted 2023’s top ten shopping trends and found card payments increased by just 4.1% in 2023, compared to 10.6% at the same point 12 months ago.

Spending on everyday items grew by 3.93% during 2023, again lower than the 6.3% total in the year before.

This reduction was due to a 10.7% fall in fuel expenditure by motorists after the prices previously peaked during the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The top trend the lender outlined from the 2,000 respondents surveyed was ‘savvy supermarket shopping’, with 15.5% of all grocery spending taking place in discount retailers. This tops last year’s record-high of 14.5%, as customers looked to reduce their weekly food spending. In September, 70% said they were looking to make cutbacks in that regard.

It all formed part of an overall 6.5% rise in supermarket shopping spend, which is also down to high food prices (despite a slowdown in inflation).

Three quarters notice ‘Shrinkflation’ problem with goods

Almost half (49%) purchased budget or own-brand goods over branded products, with the same amount going for value ranges.

Meanwhile, a burden to shoppers last year was ‘shrinkflation’ – where products drop in size but remain the same price, or, indeed, get more expensive.

At one stage, 76% had noticed this issue, with chocolate (48%), crisps (41%) and packs of biscuits (38%) proving to be the worst culprits among customers. A fifth (22%) also spotted this was happening with alcoholic drinks, as beers, spirits and tinned cocktails were felt to be weaker while costing the same.

A further notable theme saw customers ditch restaurants to be able to afford their household bills. This was prevalent in 47% of customers in October, which contributed to an overall 6.7% decline in money spent in restaurants compared to 2022.

2024 should ‘see a boost’ in customer’s spending

Huge sporting and national events also caused a 5.9% year-on-year growth in cash paid out in pubs, bars, and clubs. The King’s Coronation, Rugby World Cup and the Lionesses long run in the FIFA Women’s World Cup helped drive sales on rising booze prices.

Jack Meaning, chief UK economist at Barclays, said: “Although 2024 will be a tough year for the economy as a whole, the New Year is a time to look for the positives. We expect to see the Bank of England start easing interest rates from the middle of the year, and in fact, we’re already seeing mortgage rates come down in anticipation.

“This is as the speed of price rises slows, which should continue to provide at least some boost to the spending power of people who have been squeezed through the cost-of-living crisis. 2024 will be a year of transition, from headwinds to tailwinds, but come next December we should be able to toast the New Year with more festive spirit.”

Top 10 trends for shoppers in 2023

  1. Shoppers head to budget supermarkets
  2. Spenders notice “Skimpflation” and “shrinkflation”​ in stores
  3. Cost-of-living crisis reduces eating out
  4. National events boost pubs and clubs
  5. Eurovision song contest, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé cause boom in the gig industry
  6. “Streamflation” as popular series air finales
  7. Bad weather dented high street spending
  8. Fewer home improvements
  9. Travel bookings increase post pandemic
  10. Small indulgences lifts health and beauty sector