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Surprising reason Coles, Woolies shoppers spend an extra $70 despite price hikes

Coles logo; Woolworths logo; hand swiping card at EFTPOS machine
Coles and Woolworths are winning over customers with their latest marketing campaigns, new research by Canstar Blue has found. (Source: Coles/Woolworths/Getty)

Aussie shoppers are willing to spend more on groceries to score supermarket collectables despite the rising cost of living, new research has found.

The research by Canstar Blue, which is based on a survey of 1,500 Australian shoppers, found that two in five customers are willing to spend up to $74 extra to redeem trademarked collectables from Coles and Woolworths.

The findings come amid Australia's inflation crisis, which has resulted in prices of basic grocery items jumping more than $6, and is predicted by the government to peak at 7.75 per cent in December.

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Supermarket giants Coles and Woolies are currently going head-to-head in a collectables war to boost their market share.

The programs typically require customers to spend $30 or more in one transaction to receive a free supermarket collectable item.

'New normal'

"This is the new normal of grocery shopping," said Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, Megan Birot. "Not only do supermarkets know these promotions work for them financially, but consumers are now starting to expect these types of value-add incentives for shopping at a particular store."

"The issue here is that we're seeing a shift in consumer behaviour with shoppers now buying into the collectables frenzy and spending more money at checkout in between weekly food shops to receive small trivial knick-knacks," said Ms Birot.

However, Ms Mirot said that customers should consider whether collectables are valuable, or just a clever marketing tool to get them to spend more money.

Woolworths customer wearing Fix-Ems collectables on jacket
Woolworths launched its Fix-Ems collectables range in July. (Source: Supplied)

Some Aussie shoppers remain skeptical about collectables

Despite the appetite for supermarket collectables, the survey found that nine per cent of Aussie shoppers remain skeptical about collectables campaigns.

They also admitted they don't buy into the campaigns, as they are designed to encourage extra spending – which is problematic in the current economic climate.

Coles is currently running its Magical Builders campaign in which customers can collect up to 35 characters from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises.

Coles Magical Builders collectables
Coles' Magical Builders campaign allows customers to collect up to 35 characters from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises. (Source: Coles Group)

Meanwhile Woolworths launched its Fix-Ems collectables in partnership with Disney last month, featuring 36 characters from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars franchises.

Although the collectables are geared toward younger demographics, it's not just children who are splurging more to get their hands on more them.

Nearly one-third of survey respondents admitted they collect them for themselves, while an additional 27 per cent of shoppers say they are willing to switch from their usual supermarket if it means adding to their collection.

Favourite supermarket collectables revealed

When it comes to everyone's favourite collectables, Woolworths' Fix-Ems take the crown, with 44 per cent of respondents collecting them, while 37 per cent of shoppers said they collect Coles' Magical Builders.

Historically, Coles' Little Shop campaigns were the favourite among shoppers, followed by Woolworths' Disney Ooshies, Woolworths' Discovery Garden, and Woolworths' Lion King Ooshies.

Woolies' Fix-Ems campaign runs nationwide until Tuesday 9 August, and Coles' Magical Builder campaign ends on Tuesday 30 August, while stocks last.

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