Research finds what makes a supermarket super

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Research finds what makes a supermarket super

Related tags: Food safety, Supermarket, Food

Australia’s 14m grocery shoppers have some strong ideas when it comes to choosing which supermarket to shop at. Among the factors most likely to influence their decision are food safety, location and good value, while “add-on” services, such as photo developing and dry-cleaning, tend not to rate very highly at all.

Last year, 55.8% of Australian grocery-buyers nominated “High standards of food safety​” as one of the things that mattered most to them most when shopping, an almost identical proportion as those who said that a location “Close to home​” influenced their choice of supermarket.

Good value​” (54.1%), “Convenient trading hours​” (52.6%) and “Hygienically prepared food​” (52.2%) also featured in the five qualities grocery buyers valued most in a supermarket.

Country vs city grocery shoppers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Main grocery buyers 14+

While the top 10 things Australian grocery buyers consider most important in a supermarket are much the same as they were five years ago, there are some interesting variations between shoppers that live in country areas and their capital city counterparts.

Most strikingly, a location close to home is the factor that most capital-city grocery buyers consider important, even ahead of high food safety standards, but it comes in tenth for country-dwellers. 

Similarly, city folk are more likely than country residents to rate convenient trading hours as very important when choosing a supermarket.

On the other hand, “Good quality fresh fruits and vegetables​” is the second-most important feature for country grocery buyers after food safety standards, but ranks only ninth for city shoppers.

Huge market to understand

Last year, more than 12m grocery-buyers visited a supermarket at least once a week​,” said Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan Research, which conducted the study. 

This is a huge number, representing an immense opportunity for those supermarkets that offer the qualities so many of these people look for when deciding where to do their groceries​.

With almost 8m people naming high standards of food safety and a location close to home as factors that influence their choice of supermarket, these are less an option and more an obligation for supermarkets that wish to remain viable​.

However, there is obviously more to it than that. Our data also reveals subtle differences between country and city shoppers, with people based in country areas focused more on the food and those from capital cities more concerned with location and convenience when choosing a supermarket​.”

Related topics: Markets, Oceania, Industry growth

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