Shoppers are turning to brands despite the weakened consumer confidence, according to research. The IGD ShopperTrack found that more than a third, or 35% of shoppers, said it was very important to them that the food and groceries they bought had been "made by a company that specialises in that product" the highest level for a year.

Similarly, 33% said it was very important that food and grocery products they bought were "made by a well-known company" again the highest level for a year and 32% said it was also very important that they had "grown up buying or using this product".

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: "This strong level of support for brands is the highest it has been since we started tracking shopper sentiment on a monthly basis almost a year ago. During these uncertain times, a third of shoppers are returning to the food and grocery products they know best and are seeking comfort in brands they have grown up with. They are looking for brands they trust to deliver quality, value and reliability.

"Even though people are facing a squeeze on incomes, when it comes to their food and groceries they are not just focusing on price. Quality is still important to shoppers, but this might come at the expense of spending on other items."