Tuesday 31 January 2023

What are the consumption habits of Costa Ricans?

This is revealed by the Consumer Habits Study # 16 carried out annually by the GS Uno Costa Rica Association (GS1).

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31 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – “Closeness to home” continues to be the main consideration for consumers in Costa Rica when choosing their point of sale, indicated by 35% of those surveyed. However, this percentage continues to decrease since in 2020 it was 46% and “prices and promotions” is the condition that continues to gain ground, and for this 2021 it reaches 28%.

This is revealed by the Consumer Habits Study # 16 carried out annually by the GS Uno Costa Rica Association (GS1).

The study shows an increase in daily purchases per week with 28% of consumers and 37% per fortnight (quincena in Spanish).

“A year ago, mobility restrictions caused people to move to buy groceries every 15 to 30 days, but today the economic situation of the country forces consumers to better manage their budget, making purchases in smaller quantities, but more often and looking for better prices for the benefit of the family economy,” indicated Guillermo Varela, executive director of the GS1 Costa Rica Association.

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The habit of splitting purchases in 2 supermarkets shows a significant drop of 10 percentage points, going from 49% in 2020 to 39% of consumers in 2021. This decrease allows that for this year 43% of consumers state that now they concentrate their purchase in a single store since this offers them everything they are looking for with respect to better prices, promotions and assortment/variety of products.

Impulse purchases decreased for this year, as only 49% of consumers versus 56% in the previous year, said they bought products that they had not planned. However, this 49% continues to be a very good indicator for the commercial strategies of supermarket chains, achieved mainly by “products on sale” with 32% and by “cravings” expressed by 24% of those surveyed, the foregoing caused possibly due to the leisure generated by teleworking.

With the 2020 study and now with this 2021, it is noticeable how the consumption of sweets has increased in Costa Rican households.

With regard to the retail channel of convenience stores, this year the percentage of consumers who declared visiting this type of format decreased, from 52% in 2020 to 42% in 2021.

“Although this 42% is still good, convenience stores must be very attentive to these market signals so as not to lose participation, always trying to maintain a good condition of prices, promotions and assortment of products according to this format, but without losing sight of the traditional channel of grocery stores and suppliers, since 29% of the consumers surveyed stated that they use this format to replenish themselves with the products they are running out of,” said the director of GS1, Guillermo Varela.

The use of debit cards continues to grow as the preferred means of payment for consumers, representing 41% for this year, growing 9 percentage points compared to 2020, which was 32%.

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Credit card usage dropped to 27% and cash usage remained at 32%.

This increase in the use of the debit card is an excellent result and shows an intelligent behavior on the part of consumers in the proper management of their budget, avoiding going into debt with the purchase of products from their basic basket.

For the purchase of fruits and vegetables, the farmer’s fair (ferias) is the preferred place for 44% of consumers, but 50% of them prefer to buy these products in a supermarket. From this last data, it is interesting to mention that 14% go to a second supermarket to buy their fruits and vegetables.

Digital commerce is also very important. There is a great opportunity for supermarkets that have their online store, since 26% of those surveyed state that they currently make purchases online,

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Among the consumers who do make purchases online, Generation Z (18 and 20 years old) stands out, 55% indicated that they made this type of purchase, 40% of Millennials (21 to 34 years old) and 29% by part Generation X (35 and 49 years old). The main purchases are associated with “fast food” indicated by 57% of those surveyed, medicines 14%, groceries 9% and technology with 6%. The remaining 14% is divided between cosmetic products, hardware, jewelry, pet food, etc.

720 consumers were interviewed personally after making their purchases, in 49 points of sale of 5 supermarket chains in the country.

Source: Revista Summa

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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