Shane TreanorNot only are all politics local, so too is shopping spend, according to a recent grocery shopping survey carried out by 46 local weekly newspapers in Ireland, says Shane Treanor, sales director at Mediaforce Ireland.

The detailed survey attracted an amazing response from over 6,000 readers, both in print and online. This makes the survey statistically significant as the results have been gathered from a base of respondents that is more than double the size of the TGI panel in Ireland

The key findings were that people continue to live their lives and spend most of their money locally. The survey revealed that 82% of respondents spend half or more of their money within an 8km (5 mile) radius of their home and two thirds of them rely on advertisements in their local newspapers to help with their grocery shopping decisions.

“With more than 6,000 participants, this is one of the largest surveys of its kind undertaken in Ireland in recent years and the results proved once again life in Ireland is local”, says Mediaforce sales director, Shane Treanor.

“What makes our survey unique is the granularity. We are able to look at, and understand, grocery shopping habits and trends by county, nobody else has that level of detail”.



The survey also demonstrated that the bond of trust between readers and their local newsmedia remains enormously strong. “With 78% of respondents that expressed an opinion saying that  they trust what they read in their local newspaper and 80% that expressed an opinion saying that advertising in their local newspapers helps them when it comes to purchasing decisions it’s proof positive that local media still enjoys a special relationship with it’s audience”, Treanor adds.

“78% of respondents that expressed an opinion said that they trust what they read in their local newspaper”

The survey also revealed that 75% of respondents decide what they want before shopping, close to 90% are motivated by special offers and 67% will always buy local food brands when possible.

The detailed survey, carried out in autumn 2015, also found that almost all (97.5%) of respondents continue to do the majority of their grocery shopping in store as opposed to online. Respondents also expressed a clear preference for Thursday, Friday and Saturday as grocery shopping “Given that 75% of consumers in our survey decide what they want before they do the weekly shopping, It makes sense that grocery retailers should look to advertise in a medium that can drive consumer behaviour in their direction”, Shane Treanor says. “There is little point in advertising in a medium which appears after the shopping is done.

This survey demonstrates clearly the very strong impact of local newspapers on behaviour, and of course local newspapers publish within the time frame where consumers are making their buying decisions.”


A quite extraordinary 98% of consumers undertook a further action as a result of seeing something advertised in their local newspaper. These actions included coupon redemption, making note of a special offer, discussing the advertisement with friends or family, deciding which supermarket to shop at, and going online to get further information.

Commenting on the survey results, Johnny O’Hanlon, Director, Local Ireland, said “This is a hugely influential piece of research and the results confirm that local newspapers remain the most valued and trusted news medium. Our readers rely heavily on their local paper to inform them in their purchasing decisions and with over 80% of income spent within 8 kilometres of their home life continues to be lived locally.


The survey was carried out among users of local newsmedia throughout the 26 counties during a two week period at the end of September 2015. Readers could take part using the survey printed in the newspaper or online with an incentive of a prize draw for a €50 shopping voucher for taking part.

In all, 6,016 people participated with 80% of them being the main shoppers in their households.

81% of respondents were female and 19% male. Respondents spanned all age groups as follows: 10.8% 25-34; 20.7% 35-44; 26.4% 45-54; 23% 55-64; and 16.6% 65+.

Further information: Shane Treanor, Sales Director, Mediaforce Ireland. T: 0879750667 E:

Johnny O’Hanlon, Director, Local Ireland. T: 0872727398 E: 

First published in Irish Marketing Journal (July 2016)© to order back issues please call 016611660

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