Pensioners double online grocery spend during coronavirus lockdown

British pensioners have flocked to online supermarkets, doubling the amount they spend food shopping on the internet as coronavirus forces them to stay indoors.

The over-65s spent 94% more on deliveries than they did this time last year, according to a closely watched survey from Kantar.

It marks an overall lift in website sales for the major supermarkets.

“Retailers’ efforts to increase their online capacity are clearly working, with shopper numbers up by a quarter. Online sales now account for 10.2% of overall grocery, versus 7.4% last month, with the greatest increase among older shoppers,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

It is only one of many ways that British shoppers have changed their habits due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The data shows that many seem to be heeding government advice, with households only shopping for groceries 14 times over the past month, a record low and down from 17 in normal times.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, shoppers are spending an average of £7 more than this time last year on groceries, with the average shop now costing £26.02, the highest figure ever measured by Kantar.

However, with so many changing their habits, it is simultaneously becoming trickier to find a quiet time to shop.

The proportion of trips made between Monday and Thursday has increased, the data shows. And while Friday and Saturday are still the most popular days to go shopping, this is “only just”, Kantar said.

It is “making it hard for shoppers to find quieter times to avoid others,” it added.

The survey’s headline figures show that sales across the supermarkets increased by 9.1% in the 12 weeks to April 19. However, the rise slowed considerably this month, dropping from 20.6% in March to 5.5% in April.

However, it still meant that Britons spent £524 million more in supermarkets than in April 2019, Kantar revealed.

Shoppers are also showing appreciation for the vital role of supermarket workers.

Appreciation of staff on shop floors and tills hit a record high this month, and is 13% up since before coronavirus crisis started.

Mr McKevitt added: “Convenience stores increased sales by 39% in the latest four weeks, now accounting for 16.3% of the market compared to 12.4% a year ago. It should be noted, however, that this rise may be offset by the downturn in on-the-go consumption, which will have had a disproportionate effect on convenience shops.”

Co-op increased sales by 20%, Ocado by 19.4%, Sainsbury grew by 8.4%, and Tesco by 7.2%.

Meanwhile, Morrisons and Asda saw their sales grow by 4.3% and 3.5% respectively, while Iceland saw a 16.6% jump and Waitrose rose by 9.4%.

Lidl and Aldi saw sales rise by 14.8% and 8.8% respectively.

Hot cross bun and Easter egg sales are down this year, as shoppers could not spend the holiday with friends and family.

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