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IDDBA: Grow The Bakery Category With Donut Superconsumers


Some consumers are heavy users of a particular product. Some are passionate about a product. The sweet spot is superconsumers: those who are heavy users and highly involved. These are the most profitable and insightful consumers.

IDDBA commissioned The Cambridge Group to begin exploring superconsumer opportunities in bakery, cheese, dairy and deli. The goal of the project was to help IDDBA members sharpen their marketing, sales and innovation and create category growth by converting more shoppers into superconsumers.

To focus on how grocery can re-capture a fair share of the household food spend—as these days more is spent on food at restaurants than grocery—IDDBA dug into specific categories, including donuts.  

Researchers interviewed donut superconsumers who made purchases at foodservice and grocery to understand their motivations. Using these insights, IDDBA devised ways to increase in-store spend and trips and tested these concepts via a Nielsen Homescan survey and focus groups to provide new consumer-focused strategies.

What did IDDBA learn from superconsumer purchase behavior?

Superconsumers have many types of donut “missions,” or objectives, which fall in to four categories: Convenience Matters Most, Food/Experience Matters Most, On the Go, and Not on the Go.

More than one-third of donut purchases occur in the afternoon rather than at breakfast and are more often consumed at home than in the car. Superconsumers are open to purchasing more at grocery, but key quality and convenience gaps must be addressed to be competitive.

Superconsumers would like small portions, a wider variety available later in the day and would like an in-store bakery to have its own cash register.

What’s the impact of a donut superconsumer?

Donut superconsumers are 10 percent of households who drive 23 percent of grocery donut sales and 21 percent of foodservice donut sales. About 60 percent of all U.S. households consume donuts, 7.5 million of which are superconsumers.

By implementing the IDDBA’s three recommendations, in-store sales could increase by $75-$200M and trips by 3 percent, the organization says.

How can this help grow the industry?

“Now that we understand the motivations behind a purchase, we know how to give donut superconsumers more of what they want,” says IDDBA. “By implementing the consumer-focused concepts that were developed, tested, and brought to life in our research, grocery can increase superconsumer spend and the spend of potential superconsumers—the 20 percent of households who really like donuts, but spend less.”

These retail concepts are designed to maximize the opportunity with consumers already in the store, but they also can increase the number of weekly trips and basket size to help grocery capture its fair share of the food dollar, IDDBA adds.

The full report on donut superconsumers is available to IDDBA members here.

About the author

Alissa Marchat

A word nerd, grocery geek and three-year member of The Shelby Report. She is a proud new homeowner and a great lover of avocado toast.

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