The Ukraine war and increased inflation are leading more customers to worry about the economy.

Customer numbers are up, spend is down

Nectar360 data shows customer shopping habits are changing as we see inflation increasing. Shoppers are worried about the country’s economic future and how they’ll manage their household budget, causing a decrease in spending (with inflation removed) across all customer groups. There’s a decrease in customer spending Year on Year (YoY), but there’s an increase in customer footfall, suggesting they’re trading down or shopping around.

There’s a decrease in customer spending Year on Year (YoY), but there’s an increase in customer footfall, suggesting they’re trading down or shopping around.

Planned purchases

Planned shops for savvy shoppers

During lockdowns, customers shifted to planned food shops. This trend is still increasing as customers try to save. Customers lives are getting busier, but they haven’t returned to the shopping habit of picking up items last minute, as we’d expected them to. Instead, they’re maintaining the routine of planned shops, likely because they’re sticking to tighter budgets. There’s also evidence of them switching to cheaper brands and checking the price per unit of products, leading to a shift in focus towards price over quality, as shown by the dip on the graph in May 2022.

% of People Purchasing Food For:




A Couple of Days


Many Days



Percentage of people looking for quality over price

Cutting back

Cutting back on clothes and treats

As expected, customers are cutting out non-essential shopping, such as purchasing clothes and anything they consider a treat. There’s also a decline in fresh food sales versus non-fresh. Customers are likely swapping to longer-life products to perhaps combat waste and to ensure the food they’re buying lasts longer, making their budget go further. In both categories, there’s a shift to customers seeking cheaper products. From loyalty card data we can see they’re trading down, utilising deals and shopping around for competitive prices, such as the Aldi Price Match campaign.

I Plan To/Already Have Cut Back On (%):

Trading down

Buyers of basic ranges can’t trade down

Store cupboard essentials such as rice and pasta are becoming more expensive as manufacturing costs increase. Lower affluence customers don’t have the option to swap to an entry-level brand as they’re already purchasing the cheapest option. In contrast, affluent shoppers can trade down, so we’re seeing them decrease spending quicker.

Decreased spending

Younger shoppers cut spending faster

There’s a decrease in spending for younger customers vs an increase (with inflation) in spending for older customers. Younger customers are more likely to shop around and switch to cheaper products. On the other hand, older customers are much more likely to carry on buying the brands they like because they have less of a tight budget, so their spending goes up as they stick to the same products and prices increase.

Customers are worried about the future economic outlook of the country. From Nectar360 data, we can see they’re decreasing spending. The market trend for buying larger pack sizes continues, alongside more customers checking the price per unit. Promotions and campaigns such as Aldi Price Match remain key as customers shop around to find the best deals.

With a decrease in disposable income, households plan to or already have cut out non-essential products. Many shoppers are taking it further and cutting back on food staples.

We can see from our loyalty program data that the impact is greater for less affluent customers, they’re affected by rising food costs and have no trade-down options.

Further Reading

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