Vaccine roll out boosts shopper confidence, reports IGD

Shopper confidence has increased to its highest level since February 2020, according to the latest IGD Shopper Confidence Index.  The increase is driven by restored confidence within the over-55s, which appears to be a direct result of the vaccine roll-out. Trust in the food industry is also at an all-time high, thanks to the industry maintaining supply, focusing on health and supporting local communities and suppliers.

But, despite these encouraging results, overall confidence remains fragile, caused by the uncertain length of the national lockdown, the economic downturn and potential supply chain disruption surrounding the EU trade deal.

January 2021 results

January’s score increased slightly to -5, which although is relatively low, is the highest level since February 2020.

Shopper confidence fluctuated slightly across the month and dropped to -7 in early January following the new national lockdown and ‘stay at home’ message, combined with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths. The index rose to -4 at the end of the month as the UK passed the halfway point towards its mid-February target of administering at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 15m people.

IGD ShopperVista 2021

Index highlights

  • Confidence has increased the most among those aged 55+ (-3 vs -9 last month) – a priority group to receive the vaccine
  • Confidence has improved slightly across all major regions
  • With news of the progress on the vaccinations programme, 19% expect to be better off in the year ahead (+2% vs last month) – the highest level since July 2020
  • Just under a third (31%) expect to be worse off financially in the year ahead (-1% vs. last month)
  • Trust in the food industry has increased to the highest level recorded, with a focus on the provision of healthy products, supporting local suppliers, farmers and local communities

Simon Wainwright, director of global insight at IGD, said: “It’s really encouraging to see a slight increase in confidence in January, which builds on the increase from November 2020.

“However, the uncertainty surrounding the length of lockdown, the economic downturn and potential supply chain issues around the EU trade deal will mean that confidence will remain fragile for the foreseeable future, but it will be interesting to see the results in February, when the government is on course to reach its target of vaccinating 15m people.

“The increased trust in the food industry is testament to the responsiveness and agility delivered by suppliers and retailers throughout the pandemic and this will need to be maintained for shoppers as we are faced with continued uncertainty.”