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Supermarket trust, age representation, generative AI: 5 interesting stats to start your week

Trust in supermarkets lowest since horsemeat scandal

Consumer trust in the UK’s supermarkets is at its lowest level since February 2013, when the horsemeat scandal sent scores plummeting.

Consumer group Which? asks around 2,000 shoppers to rate supermarkets on a scale of -100 to +100, with the latest result being just +30. The lowest score ever recorded was +24 in February 2013, when the horsemeat scandal broke.

The current decade-low confidence score of +30 represents a sharp decline from how the sector performed during the pandemic. In May 2020, the confidence score reached +68, as supermarkets were praised for expanding home deliveries amid rising rates of Covid.

By contrast, supermarkets are now making headlines with allegations of ‘greedflation’ as they continue to make profit as food prices rise. The research finds less than half of shoppers trust the sector to work in their best interests.

The research from Which? also finds consumers continue to have to make adjustments to cope with the price of food shopping. Over half (54%) report buying cheaper products, with 48% making use of budget ranges. Almost a quarter (24%) say they have gone without specific foods, while 15% report skipping meals.

Source: Which?

Older adults make up just 4% of people featured in ads

Just 4% of people cast in ads last year were over the age of 60, according to an analysis of 126,000 global ads by CreativeX.

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The ads represent around $124m (£98.5m) in ad spend. Just 3% of budgets are allocated to ads featuring older adults, despite people over 60 representing almost a quarter (23%) of the UK population. This age group also has considerable spending power. Around a quarter of the world’s spending power is held by those over the age of 60.

In ads where older people are depicted, there is a danger that this media reinforces stereotypes around ageing. Almost two-thirds (65%) of the older people shown in ads were depicted in a domestic or family setting. Less than 1% of older adults cast in ads were depicted in professional settings or in leadership roles.

Previous research has found female representation in advertising is lacking; however, this issue only gets worse for older women. Less than one in 50 people featured in ads are women over 60. While 10% of women aged 26 to 59 are shown in leadership or professional situations in ads, this declines to under 1% for women aged over 60.

Source: CreativeX

Most marketing leaders intend to invest in generative AI

Around two-thirds (63%) of marketing leaders say they plan to invest in generative AI in the next 24 months, finds research from Gartner.

Just over half (56%) see more potential for reward in generative AI than risk.

Overall, marketing leaders spend an average of a quarter (25.4%) of their budget on technology. However, marketing leaders’ use of their marketing technology capabilities dropped in 2023 to 33%, versus 42% last year.

The complexity of the current technology ecosystem acts as a barrier to full use, with 16% listing this as their top obstacle to making better use of their capabilities.

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Marketers who underutilise technology, even though a significant portion of the budget is allocated to it, may face pressure to reduce spending. The research finds the few organisations that use more than 50% of their marketing technology stack are significantly less likely to report being asked to cut their martech budget.

Source: Gartner

Food inflation decelerates in August

Food inflation is now at its lowest level since September 2022, dropping to 11.5% in August, down from 13.4% in July.

August’s figure is also below the three-month average of 13.1% and represents the fourth consecutive deceleration in the food category.

Fresh food inflation is at its lowest level in a year, at 11.6%, down from 14.3% in July. Ambient food inflation is at its lowest since January, at 11.3%.

General shop price inflation also dropped to its lowest level since October 2022. It was 6.9% in August, down from 7.6% in the month prior.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson says this deflation was driven by lower prices in areas like meat, potatoes and some cooking oils. She adds that it would have been lower had it not been for the introduction of increased alcohol duties earlier in the month.

“The unpredictable weather of recent weeks has dampened consumer demand with some high street retailers increasing promotional activity and food retailers continuing to extend price cuts, as the inflationary pressure coming from supply chains continues to lessen,” says NielsenIQ head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins.

Source: BRC and NielsenIQ

Global advertising spend forecast to surpass $1trn in 2024

Global advertising spend will surpass $1trn (£788bn) next year as the world’s economy recovers from inflation, according to projections from Warc.

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Global ad spend is expected to reach $963.5bn (£739.5bn) this year, representing 4.4% growth for the market globally. However, the UK market specifically is forecast to decline in US dollars terms by 1% in 2023.

Europe as a whole is expected to grow slowly in 2023, with ad spend growing just 0.6%. The UK is the largest single ad market in Europe with a 4.6% share. However, the UK’s projected decline this year is something of an anomaly among other major markets in the region, with Spain forecast to grow 5.6%, Italy by 3.2%, and Germany by 2.7%.

In 2024, global ad spend is forecast to rise 8.2% to reach the landmark $1trn figure. The European rate will also see a stronger rate of growth versus this year, growing at 3.6%, as economic fortunes improve. According to a July forecast from the AA/Warc, UK ad spend will grow just 1.1% in real terms next year.

In terms of where the growing global ad spend is going, five companies continue to dominate. Ecommerce business Alibaba, Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, TikTok owner Bytedance, and parent of Facebook and Instagram, Meta, are predicted to attract more than half of global ad spend this year. That dominance will continue into next year, with these companies forecast to grow their share to 51.9%.

Source: Warc

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