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    Shoppers' responses to cost of living crisis focus of student research

    Posted 24 February 2023

    A young woman - Georgia Wilson - in a Harper Adams branded jacket in front of a cityscape

    Shoppers are being asked how their buying habits have changed as a result of the cost of living crisis as part of a student research project.

    Final year BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business student Georgia Wilson decided to investigate the impact of recent pressures on people’s pockets for her final year Honours Research Project after noticing her own shopping choices were changing.

    She said: “As the cost of living in the UK increases, consumers are having to make changes to their food retail buying habits.

    “This could include switching to shopping at discounters, increasing purchases of private label products, planning food shops more carefully or seeking out greater discounts in store.

    “Having worked in food retail for a number of years, it was always interesting to see how consumers’ buying habits changed - over seasons, or during covid, for example.

    “At the time of me starting to think about my Honours Research Project, the cost of living crisis was becoming increasingly apparent.

    “Therefore I decided I would focus on this - as I knew that my own food retail buying habits had changed as a result, and wanted to know if others’ had too!”

    To assess shoppers’ behaviour – and how it may have changed since the start of 2022 – Georgia has devised a short survey which asks them to consider where they shop, what choices they make on brands, whether they take a list – and more.

    The survey – which should take around five to ten minutes to complete – can be found here.

    With her parents having met at Harper more than three decades ago, Georgia, 21, from Lancaster, was already interested in Harper Adams when she visited the University for an Open Day – and she has not regretted her decision.

    She added: “The sense of community and support at Harper when visiting and hearing from others was overwhelming and I knew that I would fit in well.

    “I chose to study my degree as it is a broad course, including modules that span the whole food supply chain, providing me with a great understanding of the ‘field to fork’ process - vital for many roles in the agri-food sector.

    “The opportunity to complete a placement year as part of the course at Harper also influenced my choice. I thought it would be an extremely valuable experience, and after completing my placement year at International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) as a Customer Experience Marketing Intern, I think it was of great benefit to me and my studies.

    “I feel more confident in my ability, with an enhanced skillset, and I’m ready enter the workforce as a graduate soon.”

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