Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, has released its bi-annual “The Why? Behind the Buy” report, which provides insights into the behavior and buying patterns of today’s shoppers as well as tips to help CPG and retail marketers adapt to the ever-evolving shopping landscape. Compiled by AMG Strategic Advisors, Acosta’s growth strategy consulting unit, the comprehensive national research report found the American economy turning the corner, and American shoppers turning to healthier food options with more frequency and determination. The report also details an increase in shoppers’ use of technology for grocery shopping trips and insights on the shopping patterns of the Gen X and Gen Y shopper.
“The Why? Behind The Buy” reveals that:
* The economy is turning the corner. With signs of slow improvements in the U.S. economy, consumer confidence also is improving.
• Consumer spending is on the rise and up 1.7 percent in the grocery channel for the first quarter of 2013.
• Thirty-three percent of shoppers age 18-44 (Gen X and Gen Y) reported they are making more routine shopping trips, and this number will continue to grow as their careers advance, and they marry, have children and purchase homes. U.S. Hispanics also reported making more routine shopping trips.
• Shoppers are buying more in categories across the store including frozen foods, pet food and household products.
* Americans want to eat healthier. Despite the prevalence of obesity in the U.S., shoppers reported a strong overall interest in their health and wellness and a strong desire to follow a lifestyle centered on healthy eating.
• Fifty percent of shoppers indicated that they read nutrition labels “most of the time” or “always.”
• Eighty-one percent of shoppers reported that they “usually” or “sometimes” select and consume healthier foods.
• “Whole grain/wheat” was the most important food claim respondents considered when purchasing a product.
• Gen Y and U.S. Hispanic shoppers were most likely to go digital for healthy eating information and about one-third of shoppers in these groups responded that they have used apps to help them learn to eat healthier.
• Sixty-six percent of shoppers defined health and wellness as “being physically fit and active.”
* The influence of digital engagement is undeniable. More shoppers, especially Gen Y and U.S. Hispanics, are using technology before, during and after grocery shopping.
• Seven in 10 shoppers use Facebook and 45 percent of them visit brand pages at least monthly, primarily for coupons and special offers.
• Year-over-year measurement of digital behaviors, such as visiting a store website to download a coupon, getting e-mails from a manufacturer/retailer and loading coupons onto one’s shopper loyalty card from a website, are on the rise across the board.
• Seventy-four percent of shoppers polled believe that digital devices are important to log in and update loyalty points, while 71 percent use digital devices to post a product review.
“We are encouraged to find an increase in grocery spending in our research—and some segments, such as younger shoppers and Hispanics, making more shopping trips,” said Acosta President and CEO Robert Hill. “To maximize shoppers’ experiences, CPG companies and retailers must capitalize on digital engagement, find ways to connect with shoppers and customize marketing programs that speak to each shopper segment, and continue to create ways to help consumers navigate through the increasingly important area of health and wellness.”