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Munich residents spend the most online for food

Bruchsal, 12.09.2019

GfK releases its first-ever studies on 2019 regional product-line purchasing power for online and brick-and-mortar retail in Germany

GfK has released new purchasing power studies that include for the first time purchasing power potential for 17 product groups for both online and brick-and-mortar retail in Germany. Per capita purchasing power for the featured product lines differs substantially from region to region, with significant variations between online and brick-and-mortar spending. With an average of €69 per person, the urban district of Munich has the highest purchasing power for food purchased through online retail in 2019.

Munich residents spend almost seven times as much money online for food as the last-ranked rural district of Wittenberg, whose inhabitants spend just under €10 per person on food online in 2019. This demonstrates the considerable regional variations in online spending on food in Germany. The spectrum ranges from 174 percent above the national average in the urban district of Munich to 62 percent below the national average in Wittenberg.

Per capita purchasing power is a measure of the average available spending potential at consumers' places of residence and applies to all inhabitants of a given region. While individual consumers spend differing amounts on food, the per capita values make it possible to directly compare the purchasing power potential for a given product line on a region-by-region basis.

A review of Germany’s ten districts with the highest per capita online spending on food shows that districts with an increasing degree of urbanization generally have comparatively high purchasing power for online retail.   “It’s not surprising that people in cities tend to spend more online for food,” says Filip Vojtech, team lead for retail as well as fashion & lifestyle in GfK’s Geomarketing solution area. “People in more rural regions have fewer or even no opportunities to purchase their food online, because online food delivery services in Germany usually focus first on large cities. Our new product-line purchasing power data gives retailers and manufacturers an important tool for determining where their target group is located and also how the potential for online versus brick-and-mortar retail purchases compares.”

Top ten urban and rural districts: Purchasing power for food via online retail 

rank  urban district (UD) / rural district (RD) inhabitants per capita purchasing power for food via online retail in €per capita purchasing power index for food via online retail*
1 Munich UD 1,456,039 69 273.9
2 Frankfurt am Main UD 746,878 51 202.8
3 Hamburg UD 1,830,584 47 187.6
4 Düsseldorf UD 617,280 45 179.4
5 Munich RD 346,433 44 175.2
6 Hochtaunuskreis RD 235,995 44 172.7
7 Berlin UD 3,613,495 43 170.8
8 Cologne UD 1,080,394 42 165.3
9 Starnberg RD 135,545 42 164.9
10 Mainz UD 215,110 41 164.1

source: GfK Purchasing Power for Retail Product Lines, Germany 2019 (online retail) | *100 = national average

The urban district of Frankfurt am Main takes second place in the district rankings with an average per capita purchasing power of €51, which is almost 103 percent above the national average. The urban districts of Hamburg (€47) and Düsseldorf (€45) take third and fourth place, respectively. The bordering rural districts of Munich (€44), Hochtaunuskreis (€44) and Starnberg (€42) also have significantly above-average per capita purchasing power for online purchases of food.

While consumers are spending increasingly more online, the share of spending potential for brick-and-mortar retail is still substantially higher, particularly for food purchases. The rural district of Hochtaunuskreis is the forerunner when it comes to food purchased via brick-and-mortar retail. Inhabitants of this district have a per capita purchasing power of €3,164. With €3,111 per person, the rural district of Starnberg takes second place, followed by the urban district of Munich with €3,095 per person.

Top ten urban and rural districts: Purchasing power for food via brick-and-mortar retail

rank  urban district (UD) / rural district (RD) inhabitants per capita purchasing power for food via brick-and-mortar retail in € per capita purchasing power index for food via brick-and-mortar retail*
1 Hochtaunuskreis RD 235,995 3,164 128.6
2 Starnberg RD 135,545 3,111 126.4
3 Munich UD 1,456,039 3,095 125.7
4 Main-Taunus-Kreis RD 236,969 3,050 123.9
5 München RD 346,433 3,028 123.0
6 Düsseldorf UD 617,280 2,943 119.6
7 Ebersberg RD 140,800 2,883 117.1
8 Fürstenfeldbruck RD 217,831 2,829 114.9
9 Stormarn RD 242,472 2,822 114.6
10 Baden-Baden UD 54,718 2,806 114.0

source: GfK Purchasing Power for Retail Product Lines, Germany 2019 (brick-and-mortar retail) | *100 = national average

A review of both top-ten district rankings reveals a slight positive correlation between the spending potential for food in brick-and-mortar and online retail: A total of five districts from the two channels belong to the top-ten districts for food. This means that urban and rural districts with above-average purchasing power for food via brick-and-mortar retail also tend to spend more online for food. Conversely, inhabitants of districts with below-average per capita spending on food also tend to spend less online for this product line.

Significant regional purchasing power variations for other product lines, such as clothing

GfK’s product-line purchasing power is subdivided by brick-and-mortar and online retail for 17 product groups. This includes clothing, for which the highest amount is spent online. The highest share of shoppers for this product line live in the urban district of Munich, whose inhabitants have an average of €133 per person, which is 36 percent higher than the national average. The rural district of Munich and the urban district of Kaufbeuren take second and third place respectively with a per capita purchasing power of €125 apiece. Eight of the top-ten districts are located in Bavaria.

Although the highest per capita values for online retail spending are for clothing, more money is ultimately spent in brick-and-mortar retail. With a per capita purchasing power of €474, the rural district of Starnberg takes first place among Germany’s districts when it comes to brick-and-mortar retail spending on clothing, followed by the urban district of Munich (€468) and the rural district of Hochtaunuskreis (€465).

About the study

The studies “GfK Purchasing Power for Retail Product Lines 2019 (online retail)” and “GfK Purchasing Power for Retail Product Lines 2019 (brick-and-mortar retail)” are based on compilations and analyses of consumers’ retail shopping behavior. This includes data from GfK’s consumer panels, which regularly track the spending of private households on fast-moving consumer goods as well as non-food product lines. On the basis of this consumer information, GfK's Geomarketing solution area uses socio-demographic comparisons and geostatistical modeling to calculate regional, product-specific purchasing power for the following 17 product groups: food and related items (01), health and hygiene products (02), clothing (03), shoes and leather goods (04), furnishings (05), household products, glass and porcelain (06), electrical household appliances (07), consumer electronics and electronic media (08), information technology (09), telecommunications (10), photo and optics (11), watches and jewelry (12), books and stationery (13), toys and hobbies (14), sporting goods (15), home improvement items (16) and infant and children’s items (17).

GfK's data provides comprehensive coverage of all of Germany's administrative and postal levels, from the country’s federal states and districts to municipalities and five-digit postcodes. Product-line purchasing power (unsubdivided by brick-and-mortar and online retail) is also available for various other European countries.

Purchasing power is provided in the form of forecasted nominal values that have not been adjusted for inflation. These values are based on consumers' places of residence rather than on points of sale. The data comprises average values for all inhabitants of a given region. Correct assumptions regarding the financial assets of individuals can therefore not be made based on these figures.

Additional information
on GfK’s regional market data can be found here.

Print-quality illustrations
can be found here.

About GfK

GfK connects data and science. Innovative research solutions provide answers for key business questions around consumers, markets, brands and media – now and in the future. As a research and analytics partner, GfK promises its clients all over the world “Growth from Knowledge”.

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com
or follow GfK on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GfK.

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