New research has revealed that two-thirds of Scottish consumers are having to reduce their spending to pay their bills resulting in reduced treats, trading down on groceries and reducing the frequency of meals out of the home.

The data, compiled by TWC in collaboration with the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) found that 66% of Scottish consumers agreed that they were having to reduce their spending to pay their bills, with consumers aged 35-54 and households with children most likely to be feeling the pinch.

Scottish consumers were also more likely to agree with this statement than those living in other regions of the UK, with the nationally representative UK sample coming in at 53% agreement.

The survey found that 81% of Scottish consumers were using one or more tactics to reduce their grocery spending, with the reduction in treats (63% of respondents) being the most common approach. Trading down to buy cheaper groceries (57%) was second on the list.

When asked about eating out behaviour, 58% said they were eating out less often while a quarter said they were spending less when eating out, for example by choosing cheaper establishments, having fewer courses, or not drinking alcohol when out of the home. In addition, almost half of consumers were having fewer takeaways.

Chief executive of the SWA, Colin Smith, said: “Scotland has always had different consumer purchasing habits and trading patterns to the rest of the UK. It’s important that SWA, as the industry trade body for wholesale, continues to help our members and the sector understand what’s happening in the trade and with wider consumer behaviour.

“Working with TWC this research will help wholesalers look at where they should be focusing their efforts, looking at stock ranges and price points and how they assist the end-users adapt to the evident change in consumer purchasing habits”.