Middle-aged shoppers are waking up to using ­mobile technology to buy groceries, according to new research.

A third of 45 to 54-year-olds in Evolution Insight's latest Digital Shopper Marketing report said using their mobile phone to add items to a digital shopping list was appealing.

While the concept already appeals to 40% of tech-savvy teens and those in their early 20s, the study suggested smartphone ownership rather than age was the barrier to increased adoption of the technology among older shoppers.

Unsurprisingly, the oldest shoppers (55-64 year-olds) were least attracted to the idea (23.8%).

Currently 31.1% of 45-54 year-old regular grocery shoppers own a smartphone. The appeal of digital shopping lists and online price comparisons would swell among this demographic as smartphones gained penetration, said Evolution Insights lead analyst Alastair Lockhart.

"Smartphone ownership is skewed towards younger generations but, as the prices fall and ageing mobile phone contracts come up for renewal, older shoppers will start to look more at these handsets," he said.

Tesco, which recently unveiled a barcode scanner app for online orders, had led the way in bringing so-called m-commerce to shoppers, he added. Its advertising "shows it's not tech wizardry but something for a normal person with a busy lifestyle."