The 1st series of the Asedas Prize is awarded to the best press article from the “Distribución y Consumo” journal, which is edited by MERCASA
In December 11th took place in Madrid the award ceremony for the 1st ASEDAS Prize for the best press article, according to the terms set by the Association, published by the “Distribución y Consumo” (Distribution and Consumption) journal, which is edited by MERCASA, about the Spaniards’ food habits.
The article was written by a group of researchers from seven Spanish universities, headed by the Research Group on Food Sociology from the Sociology department of the Universidad de Oviedo.
At the award ceremony, ASEDAS’ Director-General Mr. Ignacio García Magarzo, highlighted the importance which the Association gives to academic research as the key basis for progressing within the industry and for improving the relationship with consumers and with the academic world. “Studies of this kind help us to improve, allowing supermarkets to be able of offer a whole range of fresh and packed products, at some of the lowest prices in Europe, which make possible to Spanish households to enjoy a better access to foodstuffs, just a few meters away from our homes”, he stated.
For his part, the professor of Applied Economics at the Universidad Complutense and member of the editorial board of “Distribución y Consumo”, Mr. Víctor Martín Cerdeño, stressed the importance of the commercial food industry as a key element of the Spanish economy, pointing out that, according to the data from the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and the Environment that in the purchase of food priority is given to quality (almost 60%), nearness (54.5%), and to prices (53%).
Consumption at Christmas time
Christmas is the time of the year when, traditionally, consumption grows in general, and that of food specially. Furthermore, during the Christmas season that expenditure in food records changes in the habits of the Spanish households.
With regard to the Christmas season, Mr. Martín pointed out that the consumption of some products grows twofold, such as is the case with ovine and caprine meat, or of the seafood, while consumption of champagnes grows threefold, and that of cider grows fourfold in comparison with that recorded during the rest of the year. As for Christmas sweets, supermarkets commercialize 64% of the mantecados and polvorones, and 60% of the turrones, the undisputed Christmas stars year after year.
Supermarkets also increase the sale of canned fish and fruits (pineapple, peach); of wines and champagnes; bonbons and assorted cookies; of nuts and dried fruits; and of snacks.
Regarding no-foodstuffs, the sale of batteries and perfumes experiences a significant increase. That is why some shops change or expand the stands on which they display the products on sale, giving more room for the above mentioned products and decreasing the space for no-traditional foodstuffs or for personal hygiene products.
On the other hand, from the field of Sociology, the professor from the Universidad de Oviedo, Ms. Cecilia Díaz-Méndez, pointed out that Spaniards keep eating thrice a day, at home and in the company of other persons, and that 82% of Spaniards has lunch and dinner with some other person(s), and that 25% of those who live alone share their lunch and dinner with someone, which is more significant during the Christmas season.
In the work titled “Spaniards’ food habits”, published by the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and the Environment mention is made to the fact that consumers regard fresh products as very important, and that there is a stability in traditional habits.
To the above mention must be made to the growing worry shown by consumers about their health and for keeping themselves fit, which has promoted the growth of the fresh products included in the so-called Mediterranean diet, and the sale of which in ASEDAS’ supermarkets has grown by 15% in the last few years.
MERCASA and Grupo SEPI
MERCASA belongs to Grupo SEPI, a corporate holding which includes a total of 16 state-owned companies in which it has direct, majority shareholding participations, with a final workforce of around 73,000 professionals in 2014; the Spanish state-owned television and radio corporation, Corporación Radiotelevisión Española, which is attached to SEPI, and one public foundation. Equally, SEPI has direct minority shareholdings in a further ten companies, and indirect shareholdings in more than one hundred companies.
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