Nearly two-thirds of shoppers are buying cheaper grocery brands to save money and more than a third expect to continue to do so even when economic conditions improve.

The findings from Nielsen’s latest quarterly Consumer Confidence Index, in which people were polled online, will be music to the ears of discounters and value stores.

The Index found that 60% of Britons are buying cheaper grocery brands to save money – the highest level for two years.

And 37% of shoppers expected to buy cheaper grocery brands even when economic conditions improved. 

Nielsen UK managing director Steve Smith told The Grocer: “This behaviour has become a way of life for many shoppers and will continue to provide a fertile environment for discounters and value stores to grow.”

Those who felt that now was a good time to make purchases rose two points to 42% – the highest level for eight years.

Smith said confidence was moving in the right direction, but, as a whole, Britons were still pessimistic about the future. “Those positive about jobs and finances are in the minority, while cost-saving tactics are still being practised by the majority of households.

For instance, 60% of shoppers are buying cheaper grocery brands to save money…and savings remain the number one destination for consumers’ spare cash.

“This cautious mind-set is contributing to weak retail sales growth, so any UK recovery will remain fragile until more shoppers get a tangible sense that their living standards have improved,” Smith said.

The UK Consumer Confidence Index hit 93 in the third quarter. The last time it was higher was in the third quarter of 2007 which it reached 94.

That was when Gordon Brown had just become prime minister. A score above 100 indicates degrees of optimism – below 100, degrees of pessimism.a