Half of all shoppers would buy food at Aldi and Lidl if there was a store near them, new research from IGD claims.

The survey also found that 5% of shoppers now use a discounter for their main shopping trip – almost double the amount last year.

Discounters are most popular with younger shoppers and those with teenage children, the IGD said.

Meanwhile, shoppers are braced for yet more price hikes in the year to come. A third (32%) said food would get “much more expensive” over the next 12 months, compared with a quarter (25%) this time last year.

“Discounters still account for a very small proportion of the market overall,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch. “But they might be expected to do well during an economic downturn, with 60% of shoppers telling us that they will use them more if their personal economic circumstances get worse.

“Shoppers also say their perceptions of discounters have changed over the years, with 81% of regular discount food shoppers believing that the quality of products has improved.”

IGD estimated the discount grocery market to be worth £6.4bn in the year to 31 December 2010.