Changing market trends in Austria

Current data from the RollAMA household panel for 2022 shows how the Corona crisis, the war in Europe and the highest inflation since 1974 are affecting the daily life and purchasing behavior of people in Austria.

Posted on Apr 14 ,00:05

Changing market trends in Austria

From the Corona crisis to the war in Europe to the highest inflation since 1974: the effects on daily life, the markets and people are great and influence food production as well as consumer and purchasing behavior in Austria in many ways. This is also illustrated by the current data from the RollAMA household panel for 2022.

In line with the lifting of the corona-related restrictions and lockdowns, the markets are also adapting to previous shopping behavior again. Accordingly, the purchasing volumes in 2022 fell by eight percent compared to the same period in the previous year and remained stable compared to the time before the Corona crisis. The declines in volume caused spending to increase by just 2 percent compared to 2021, up 15 percent from 2019.

The trend: sustainability and convenience

"In the long term, two major trends are emerging: sustainability and convenience", explains Christina Mutenthaler-Sipek, Managing Director of AMA-Marketing. "Sustainability is shown by the fact that the constantly increasing demand for organic products has only been slightly dampened by inflation and more and more people are turning to products in recyclable glass bottles. Convenience products are showing substantial growth. It can be assumed that this segment will continue to gain in importance", she summarizes the trends.

Glass bottles on the rise

11.5 percent of household spending in 2022 went on organic productsGreater environmental awareness is reflected in the growing popularity of reusable glass bottles for milk and fruit yoghurt from the glass. Already 35 percent of households are attracted by this ecological type of packaging.

Self-service increasingly popular

In an increasingly mobile society, the topic of convenience is playing an increasingly important role. The purchase of ready meals has increased by a remarkable 14 percent since 2019, canned and frozen fruit and vegetables show an equally dynamic development. The desire for quick purchase and preparation is reflected in the increased purchase of meat and sausages in the Self-service and the booming range of grated and sliced cheese.

Alternative products grow in the long term

For several years, the proportion of buyers of meat has been falling in some categories, and the number of people who consciously reduce meat consumption is increasing. The market for alternatives in the area of meat, ready meals and milk is still small in proportion, but growing in the long term. In 2022, development slowed down somewhat, probably because imitation products are usually more expensive than the original. The proportion of buyers in this category stagnated at 52 percent in 2022.

Monthly household charges mostly for meat, sausage, dairy products

In 2022, domestic households spent around EUR 170 per month on fresh food and ready meals (excluding bread and pastries). Animal foods such as meat, sausage and dairy products account for the largest share.

The shopping frequency was declining and was well below the value of 2019, which indicates that in addition to more out-of-home consumption, inventories were used up or that the food purchased was used a little more sparingly, perhaps less was thrown away.

Meat and fruit purchases down

In 2022, the purchase volumes for meat (especially beef) and fresh vegetables (especially fruit vegetables and leafy vegetables) fell the most and less for cheese, sausage and eggs – less cooking was done than during the corona pandemic and savings tended to be made on higher-priced groceries. In the longer term, in addition to a decline in the volume of meat and sausages, there is also a drop in fruit purchases. The reason is the growth in the soft fruit segment, which is less significant in terms of volume.

Inflation leaves its mark

Prices rose by an average of 11 percent across all RollAMA product groups in 2022, the index value was 19 percent higher than in 2020. According to Statistics Austria, the inflation rate for food was 22 percent in the same period. Rising milk prices have prompted consumers to turn to cheaper long-life milk, but factors such as stockpiling, declining shopping frequency and less demand from smaller households also play a role. However, the rising butter prices hardly lead to behavioral changes, butter remains stable compared to margarine. On the egg market, the price increases in the barn segment were particularly pronounced; they were lowest for eggs from conventional free-range husbandry, which means that buyers increasingly chose the type of husbandry.

Top campaign items: butter and meat

The rising prices also mean that numerous promotional products are offered by food retailers and also bought by consumers. Every third euro is spent on discounted groceries. As usual, butter and meat are among the top promotional items. Market share gains for discounters go hand in hand with the development, as do increasing shares of own brands.

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