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Food impulse-buying 'taking place of weekly shopping'

Published 17/10/2015

Many people decide what they are going to eat that night just a few hours in advance, the survey found
Many people decide what they are going to eat that night just a few hours in advance, the survey found

Shopping lists are being torn up in favour of buying food on impulse, according to a new study.

Research by Co-operative Food found that many people now decide what to eat on the day rather than planning meals days or even weeks in advance.

The trend shows how people's lives have changed, often having less time to plan and buy a big weekly or monthly shop, partly because of long working hours.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that one in six never use a shopping list, with an increase in mid-week shopping rather than at weekends.

Consumers are also buying goods more often from smaller convenience stores rather than big supermarkets, said the report.

The Co-op said the convenience market was worth £37.7 billion and is forecast to grow by 17% by 2020.

The trend has also been fuelled by an increase in single households and a desire to cut down on food waste.

Steve Murrells, the Co-op's retail chief executive, said: "The idea of planning and eating three square meals a day are a thing of the past. Today many people who live busy lives decide what to eat just a few hours in advance."

More than one in four of those surveyed said they decided their meals on the day, with fewer than one in 10 planning weekly food in advance.

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