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What makes a supermarket super?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Main grocery buyers 14+

Australia’s 14,000,000 grocery buyers have some strong ideas when it comes to choosing which supermarket to shop at. Among the factors most likely to influence their decision are food safety, location and good value, while ‘add-on’ services such as photo developing and dry-cleaning tend not to rate very highly at all.

Last year, 55.8% of Australian grocery-buyers nominated ‘High standards of food safety’ as one of the factors that mattered most to them when supermarket-shopping, an almost identical proportion as those who said that a location ‘close to home’ influenced their choice of supermarket.

‘Good value’ (54.1%), ‘convenient trading hours’ (52.6%) and ‘hygienically prepared food’ (52.2%) also featured among the five qualities grocery buyers value most in a supermarket.

Most (and least) important factors for Australian grocery-buyers choosing a supermarket


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Main grocery buyers 14+

Rating much lower on the list of supermarket priorities are features such as ‘a box office where you can buy tickets to shows’ (4.3%), ‘you can have your photos developed there’ (4.5%) and ‘a good range of financial services’ (5.0%). Tellingly, none of these actually have anything to do with the act of buying groceries.

Country vs city grocery buyers

While the Top 10 factors that Australian grocery buyers consider most important in a supermarket are much the same as they were five years ago, there are some interesting variations between shoppers that live in country areas and their capital city counterparts.

Most strikingly, a location close to home is the factor that most capital-city grocery buyers consider important (even ahead of high food safety standards) — but it comes in tenth for country-dwellers. Similarly, city folks are more likely than country residents to rate convenient trading hours as very important when choosing a supermarket.

On the other hand, ‘good quality fresh fruits and vegetables’ is the second-most important feature for country grocery buyers (after food safety standards), but ranks only ninth for city shoppers.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It’s a rare Australian who doesn’t have to go to the supermarket on a regular basis: indeed, last year, more than 12 million grocery-buyers visited a supermarket at least once in an average seven days. This is a huge number, representing an immense opportunity for those supermarkets that offer the qualities so many of these people look for when deciding where to do their groceries.

“With almost 8 million people naming high standards of food safety and a location close to home as factors that influence their choice of supermarket, these are less an option and more an obligation for supermarkets that wish to remain viable.

“However, there is obviously more to it than that. Our data also reveals subtle differences between country and city shoppers, with people based in country areas focused more on the food and those from capital cities more concerned with location and convenience when choosing a supermarket.

“The findings in this press release were taken from the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey, the most extensive of its kind in the world, containing data from 50,000 Australian consumers annually.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%