Small vs. large basket trips

Posted by Oliver Koll on Jan 18, 2018

Missions impact the composition of shopping baskets: Consumers may shop spontaneously and buy little on a trip or alternatively plan to refill empty cupboards and end up with a large basket. We take a closer look at shopping missions and the composition of baskets across 8 countries* to identify categories that are likely to be included in those trips.

  • Small basket trips are more likely to include personal care products like body creams, hair coloring products and razor blades, and also snacks like candy bars or ice cream, milk and spirits. Large basket trips include relatively more non-perishable products like carbonated water, canned beans or lemonades.
  • Shopping mission prevalence differs by country: Small basket trips in Italy are responsible for nearly 50% of all trips. Only 1 in 6 trips is small in France and the UK.
  • Austrian, German and Dutch shoppers disproportionately buy frozen meat, vegetables and pizzas in their small baskets. Are these truly preferred ingredients for quick cooking or an opportunity for retailers to improve their fresh assortment?

Understanding consumers’ shopping trips (e.g., frequency, categories purchased, basket composition) helps manufacturers and retailers to understand the role their products currently play in consumers’ lives and helps identify gaps in the current offering. Matching this information with shopper demographics provides a valuable basis for purchase-based segmentation.


* The analysis covers shopping trips in Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, UK and the US. Trip size allocation into four missions is on a household level and based on the number of items bought by this household on every trip throughout the year – each trip is allocated based on quartiles regarding the number of items purchased.