Christmas shoppers seek value as inflation persists

Christmas ham

It can be hard to resist the temptation of Christmas foods as supermarkets begin to line their shelves with stacks of festive goodies. The anticipation of the Golden Quarter is always high: for customers, rushing to stock up on their Christmas staples, and for brands, who engage in an intense competition for winning sales.  

The forecasted sales growth in 2023, however, has been broadly attributed to inflation; not to customers spending more in real terms, per se. But with the cost-of-living crisis mounting pressure on UK households, the question stands: which supermarket will land that all-important big shop, and in effect, win Christmas? And how can brands drive messages of value in store? 

With these questions hanging in the air, it is vital that brands and supermarkets are thinking strategically. The likes of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have all tailored their club cards to entice customers in with various promotional rewards and deals.  

Not only this, but Asda have also already opened access to their Christmas delivery slots, 2 weeks earlier than last year, and Tesco will similarly open theirs a week earlier than before, due to high demand. Likewise, Sainsbury’s have upped their seasonal recruitment drive by 22% more than last year, according to ESM Magazine.  

It is safe to assume, therefore, that whilst the demand and traffic is still anticipated, consumers will be concerned with shopping for more value. According to The Guardian, more consumers are planning to “party at home and save on trips” this Christmas. Given this, it is not unexpected that this year, consumers will be prioritising their spending on gifts and food & drink.

So, how can brands adapt their marketing strategy accordingly?  

Retailers’ desire is to be first in the consideration set for Christmas – opting to run brand and product ads, across various media channels to drive preference and brand recognition. But, when it comes down to the customer’s decision to purchase a particular product in store, the power of in-store advertising must not be overlooked. As recent retail trends confirm, there has become greater focus on lower funnel advertising. 

We prioritise the positioning of campaigns at the point of sale, and we understand how lower-funnel advertising not only signifies the final direction within a campaign narrative, but also acts as a confident influencer of sales – at the right time, when shoppers are specifically looking for value.  

The big festive shop is an important revenue driver for retailers and brands – the prime opportunity for brands to engage with the shopper-mindset. IGD research revealed how trolley posters are one of the most recalled point-of-sale media, with 71% of shoppers acting upon seeing trolley advertising in store and with our brands on average enjoying a +15.2% sales uplift.

More than 2/3 of purchase decisions are made in-store, so it is essential that brands optimise this opportunity for maximum uptake. And as we have seen, this is increasingly pertinent within the context of tight (and tightening) household budgets, and this is when brands can cement their offering to include promotions and value messaging at point-of-sale.  

 To learn more, visit our website or email us at

Source: The Grocer, Grocery Gazette, ESM Magazine, the Guardian,, Shopper Media Group

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