As part of NEMS ongoing development programme, a study into the use of multiple stores for household’s main food and grocery shopping trips was undertaken. This was specifically to quantify the prevalence of supplementation and substitution.

The expansion of consumer choice has led to over half of households using more than one store for the household’s main food and grocery shopping. The main store is both substituted and supplemented with others, thought the main store still accounts for an estimated 79% of all visits. Likelihood to use other stores for main grocery shop varies between retailer.

Those younger (under 35 years old) and in larger households (3 or more adults) are less likely to restrict their main shopping to just one store. Substitution of main food and grocery store is more likely among younger age groups (under 35 years old) and among those in full-time employment. Conversely, supplementing their main store with others is less likely among these two groups.


Methods of using primary research to record food and grocery expenditure are reviewed in light of this new research. You can check out the report in our public opinion section – just follow the links listed for ‘Main food and grocery shopping habits’.