Key insights into the mind of the grocery shopper

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 23rd February 2009

The American Grocery Shopper Study has revealed intriguing insights about the psyche of the grocery customer.

The study, which surveyed more than 50,000 US shoppers, revealed key findings in the areas of current and future spending habits, brand preferences, attitudes toward organics and environmental accountability, and a profile of today’s “early adopter” shopper.

Consumer Spending and Confidence

Some of the top lifestyle changes consumers are making to cope with the current economic state include: “eat out less/eat in more,” “turn down the thermostat,” “be more efficient with my shopping trips,” and “buy less name brand products/buy in bulk.”

– 52% of US grocery shoppers said they plan to eat at home more often than last year.

– 96% of shoppers considered it important that any new product provide them value for the dollar.

– Over 80% of consumers said they will spend the same or more on essential personal care products as they did last year.

– When respondents were asked to name their most trusted grocery store brands, Kraft topped the list, followed by Campbell’s, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Betty Crocker, Del Monte, Tide and Clorox.

Green and Natural Products

The natural trend is still strong but the desire to pay a premium is not.

– 70% of consumers are motivated to buy products that are better for the environment, but only 40% are willing to pay more for those products.

– 75% of consumers believe that some companies are exploiting environmentally friendly claims for marketing purposes.

– 58% of shoppers consider it important for a new product they purchase to be “natural.”

– 78% of shoppers believe that manufacturers have a long way to go to reduce the amount of packaging.

Health and Wellness

Worries about health are increasing leading to a greater consumer focus on what is in their food, according to the survey.

Woman Supermarket Shopping

– Shoppers revealed health as a greater priority, with 68% reporting increasing concerns about their health.

– Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about chemicals in products: 68% expressed increased concern about chemicals in food products; 63% in household products; 57% in skin care products.

— Over 80% of respondents believe that making better food choices can prevent illness.

— 71% of consumers are concerned about the added health claims of products they purchase.

Early Adopters

“The survey revealed that “early adopters” show stronger brand loyalty and prefer products that are environmentally friendly and offer improved technology and innovation,” Robert Levy, President and CEO of BrandSpark International, noted.

– 80% of shoppers who qualify as “early adopters” – first to try new products – are women.

– In relation to the larger shopper demographic, early adopters are more receptive to the influence of internet, social media and magazines: early adopters spend 50% more time per week reading magazines and 50% have downloaded coupons off the internet

“This survey provides a roadmap for manufacturers, allowing them to pinpoint their efforts on those areas that are most important to shoppers today,” Mr Levy said. “We have uncovered what matters most to shoppers, who they’re listening to, where they’re willing to spend, and what shopping trends we can expect in the year ahead.”