Synovate Survey Reveals That Half of Canadians Always Check Grocery Flyers Before Shopping

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Synovate was acquired by Ipsos in October 2011. The research discussed in this press release was conducted prior to the acquisition, using Synovate’s research policies and methodologies.

Toronto, ON — Leading global market research firm Synovate today released a new study showing that 47% of Canadian households always check grocery flyers before shopping. A further 24% said that they review grocery flyers quite often, indicating that each week approximately 7-in-10 Canadian homes check grocery flyers either quite often or always.

Checking grocery flyers before shopping is most prevalent in the Atlantic region (where 56% of households always do so) and lowest in Alberta (33%). Interestingly 75% of households nationally with children aged 18 and under sometimes or always check grocery flyers each week, compared with 70% of homes without kids - indicating that the effect of the recent recession has made the majority of Canadians highly budget conscious when it comes to grocery shopping, regardless of whether they have children at home or not.

Flyers are one of the most visible and widespread marketing tools used by grocery stores to connect with and lure customers, but how effective are flyers at engaging consumers? Are most merely flipping quickly through the flyer or are they actually reading it in detail?

According to Synovate's Grocery Tracker, an ongoing quarterly syndicated survey, the average time spent checking a grocery flyer each week nationally is just over 20 minutes. Households in Atlantic Canada spend the most time reviewing a grocery flyer (just over 21 minutes); while those in Ontario and BC invest the least amount of time reading flyers (a little under 18 minutes per week). A core group of grocery shoppers are highly committed to spending time perusing flyers, with nearly 1-in-3 grocery shoppers nationally stating that they spend 30 minutes or more checking flyers every week.

When asked if something that they saw in a flyer prompted them to shop at the store, the response varies somewhat by retailer, but is high across the country. So 91% of Maxi shoppers in Quebec say they visit the store as a result of its flyer. As do 84% of No Frills shoppers, 64% of Longo's shoppers in Ontario, as well as 70% of Save-On shoppers and Safeway shoppers in BC. All of which suggests that the most price conscious grocery shoppers are motivated to use flyers to compare prices across different chains and will visit those stores in their area which offer the most attractive prices.

"Today's grocery sector is extremely competitive and the battle to attract shoppers is intense. The majority of Canadian consumers are very price conscious when it comes to grocery shopping. Flyers are one of the most established and simplest ways to reach out to and communicate with grocery shoppers. It's clear that checking flyers every week is the norm for many grocery shoppers, who are using them as a time saving means to comparison shop different retailers from the comfort of their home" said Adrian Murphy, Vice President of Syndicated Research North America for Synovate.

About the survey

Over 36,000 Canadian adults aged 18+ were surveyed in the four quarters ended June 2011 through Synovate's ongoing syndicated grocery customer experience survey. Respondents for this survey were selected via a systematic random sample from among those who have agreed to participate in Synovate Panel surveys. The Synovate online panel is composed of around 115,000 Canadian households who have been recruited to regularly participate in Synovate's online surveys. Data was projected to represent the entire Canadian household population based on census data from Statistics Canada, using various weighting factors including income, region and population density.

The information contained above conforms to the principles of survey disclosure and best practices for the market research industry. The full questionnaire is available on request.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services
Ipsos North America
(778) 373-5136

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

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Synovate Survey Reveals That Half of Canadians Always Check Grocery Flyers Before Shopping

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America