Three quarters of shoppers who have made changes to their food and grocery shopping during the recession say that they will stick with their new habits even when the economy recovers, according to grocery think-tank IGD.
"Shoppers increasingly scrutinise every penny they spend - they are shopping around more, wasting less, seeking out promotions, planning meals better and taking their time to find the best deals," said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of the IGD think tank.
"In such a vibrant marketplace, in which new shopper loyalties are emerging, UK retailers and food manufacturers are responding very rapidly," she said. "They are each vying to excel at delivering value - and the most effective are reaping the rewards."
Nearly half (44%) of shoppers say that a major strength of brands is their reliable "taste and quality", while 27% particularly favour brands because they have "grown up" with them. However, two thirds of shoppers say that they have also seen an improvement in the quality of own-label over the past two years.
Denney-Finch added: "Almost a third (31%) of people have yet to make major changes to their grocery shopping during the recession but expect to if conditions worsen."
In response, 47% of manufacturers said that they were putting a strong emphasis on price and value through advertising and communications activity.