SCOTS have made more trips to the shops and spent more on brand-name food and drink in the past year, but their overall grocery bill is broadly equal to shoppers in the rest of Britain, according to new figures.
A typical Scottish shopper stocked up on groceries 273 times in the year to June 22, compared to 256 visits for the average person in Great Britain, data from consumer research group Kantar Worldpanel shows.
In Scotland, an average person spends 51.8 per cent of their grocery budget on branded goods, compared to 48.5 per cent in Britain. Over the year this meant shoppers north of the Border spent £125 more on brands than the rest of the country.
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The average grocery bill is £3,943 a year in Scotland, or just £2 less than the average for Britain. The data is based on 30,000 households whose spending Kantar tracks.
While larger supermarkets dominate, smaller shops brought in £826 over the year from each Scottish shopper, or £171 more than the British average. This difference could be due to frugality or geography, said David Martin, head of policy at the Scottish Retail Consortium. "Consumer confidence in the past four to five years has been a bit lower in Scotland, and sales figures have been lagging behind the UK average," he said.
"What that tells us is that people have got less to spend, or that they are spending less and budgeting more. Part of that is shopping more often. Scotland is also a lot more rural, and outside the central belt there are fewer supermarkets."
Official data this month showed Scottish retail sales rose 2.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a year ago, behind a 4.5 per cent rise in Great Britain.