The Spaniards filled the shopping basket a little less last year. A) Yes, the demand for consumer products fell by 0.7% in 2018 although it maintained a dynamic growth rate of 2.6%, according to Nielsen's "Radiography of Large Consumption in Spain 2018". These purchases were marked by a context of rising prices (+ 3.4%) and therefore, in the aforementioned study concludes that "consumers bought a little less for much more, when a year ago they bought more for more".
Inside the shopping cart the packaged and processed products prevailed -with 66% of weight- versus fresh, with a percentage of 34% and a fall of -2.1% in volume with respect to last year. Among fresh foods, the Spaniards chose to fill it with more meat and eggs, but less fish, bread, fruit and vegetables. The report also shows that the basket of fresh produce increased by 4.8% and that this was one of the reasons why consumption declined. The most important rises in prices were in fruits (+ 9.3%) and in eggs (+ 7.6%), although their consumption increased by 2%, remaining as the "cheapest" and demanded protein, in the words of the person in charge of New Markets of Nielsen, Ricardo Alcón. In addition, the Spaniards opted for frozen fish more "cheaper and easier to prepare"; some options that hardly exist with meat, "where there is no transfer to cheaper options," according to Nielsen's analysis.
Among the trends in vogue in fruits and vegetables, last year stood out «The focus on local and organic farming». There was also a greater offer of tropical fruit and exotic varieties as well as an increase in the purchase of ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables.
On the other hand, Spaniards "drank less, but better", according to Alcón. The consumption of beverages fell by 1.7% due to adverse weather with the fourth coldest spring so far this century and the rainiest since 1965. On the other hand, the month of June was also 61% rainier than the usual average. In spite of this, there was a rise in the billing of beers and wine with an increase in the expenditure of 2.1% of these products in the hotel trade.
In terms of budget, consumers opted for two apparently opposite trends: the control of spending with a commitment to the distribution brand and promotions and, at the same time, the choice of products based on three other factors: health, convenience and the fad or fashion. In this line, the consumption of milk without lactose, of healthy snacks like nuts or pistachios or extra virgin olive oil. Among the convenience products with which we seek to make life easier are prepared salads, single-serve coffee, refrigerated sushi or prepared broths. Finally, when Spaniards try to pamper themselves when they get home from work or during the weekend, they choose products such as dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, flavored French fries or premium range beers.