Monitoring foods and drinks purchased into the home in Scotland

January 2016

Foods and Drinks purchased into the home in Scotland using data from Kantar WorldPanel

This report published on 20th January 2016 provides evidence on retail purchasing trends and price promotions, including seasonal differences between 2010 and 2015, with a particular focus on discretionary foods, such as cakes, pastries, biscuits, confectionery, crisps and  on sugar-sweetened drinks.

The key findings of the report included:

  • Considerable and welcome decreases in the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) occurred between 2010-2015
  • However, there was little change in the purchase of most foods and nutrients overall, despite reductions in some high fat/sugar categories. This suggests that fats and sugars are probably being recycled into different products purchased from the retail offering.
  • Higher purchase of less healthy foods on promotion, compared with healthier foods. For example, for some less healthy categories more than 50% were purchased on price promotion, compared with less than 30% for some of the healthier categories.
  • There were large seasonal fluctuations in the purchase of discretionary foods, particularly around Christmas and Easter. Average confectionery purchase varied by as much as 100% between 4 week periods.

Additional purchase of confectionery, crisps, savoury snacks, biscuits, cakes, pastries and regular soft drinks over a sustained 12 week period including Christmas equates to about 9000 kcals which, if consumed, is equivalent to an average weight gain of around 1 kg for everyone in Scotland

This report provides up-to-date data on trends and patterns in the purchase and promotion of foods and drinks which can inform action to improve the diet and purchasing habits in Scotland.