Meat, cheese, charcuterie… Low-income households cut copiously in their purchases

According to Kantar, the French continue to reduce their volume of purchases in supermarkets, mainly low-income households who are deserting the “cut” shelves.

The French are cutting back on their food expenses. According to data from panelist Kantar taken up by LSA, the drop in food expenditure in this inflationary context reached 3.2% between April 18 and May 15 compared to the same period of 2021 in all large retailers .

The fall is particularly strong for so-called traditional fresh products, that is to say those from butchers, creameries and caterers sold on stands and for some by the cut. Kantar notes a collapse in demand for this category of 12.2% over the period (-11.8% in purchase volume) after already falling by 13.2% over the previous period.

In most supermarkets and hypermarkets, these counters are deserted because they are considered more expensive by consumers concerned about their expenses. As proof, it is low-income households that reduce the volume of purchases of these food products the most (-13% against -10.2% for the wealthy).

Falling charcuterie

For certain categories of these fresh products, it is a collapse among low-income households: -22% for meats, -26.4% for cheeses and even more than 33% drop for traditional charcuterie.

Affluent households, for their part, are also reducing their purchases, but to a lesser extent. The only categories on which they arbitrate more than the modest ones are poultry (-22% against -16% for the modest ones) and fruit (-7% against -2.1% for the modest households).

Some categories are still benefiting from a stock effect with very strong sales volume increases. This is the case for mustard (+13.9%), oil (+15.5%), pasta (+7%) or certain specific products such as sweet corn (+24%).

“Faced with the fear of a shortage of mustard, households continue to store, buying almost 14% more mustard than in 2021 over the same period, and are switching to high-end products for lack of choice, both for well-to-do homes than low-income ones,” says Kantar.

French people who, despite budgetary constraints, are not massively taking refuge for the moment in distributor brands. If the latter are less expensive, they are also the ones that have seen their prices increase the most since the beginning of the year with the “first prices”.

“There is still no transfer to the dominant own-brand brands [NDR. Lidl, Aldi…] or the private labels which are even declining to 40% of the volume market share”, observes Kantar.

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