Fresh is the final frontier…
We believe that consumer insight should inform strategy. So we place a great premium around here on monitoring behaviors and cultural trends in the food business. Even more so now that food retail is at a crossroads with e-commerce accelerating rapidly to compete for more shopping occasions.
We’ve identified 10 developments worth watching as the food retail business continues to transform amid the growth of consumer preference for higher quality, more authentic and real-food products.
1. Of millennials, 43 percent are now shopping online for groceries at least occasionally, up from 28 percent in 2016 – a 15-point climb in one year!
2. Most of this growth is coming from households that shop online routinely, and thus are already comfortable with e-commerce transactions.
3. Important to note millennials are more likely, however, to buy packaged products online rather than fresh and perishable items.
4. Gen-Xers with kids are more likely than other cohorts to actively use grocery store apps.
5. Millennials with kids are more likely to participate in grocery store social networks.
6. Millennials are more concerned about CPG and retailer:
Openness about animal welfare
They are apt to make judgments on the basis of ethics and sustainability practices.
7. Twenty-three percent of grocery shoppers claim to avoid GMOs, mostly for health related reasons, ‘naturalness’ and a desire to know exactly what’s in a product.
8. Top three reasons consumers prefer locally sourced products:
Fresher – 72 percent
Support local economy – 65 percent
Better taste – 54 percent
9. Seventy-six percent of grocery shoppers think a home-cooked meal is healthier than out of home meal options.
10. Households with kids have the highest adoption rates for retailer prepared meal solutions; two out of three households purchase them at least occasionally.
Most impressive is the speed of change we’re observing in the food marketplace, and the need for retailers especially to work smarter. This is done by embedding uniqueness and differentiation in their banner brands, and creating immersive experiences for shoppers in both online and bricks and mortar environments.
For retailers and CPGs still vying for transactions, it’s critical to realize that consumers have changed the rules. Those brands and banners that embrace connecting to shoppers in ways they find more helpful and meaningful will earn the business and their loyalty.
More specifically, the path to consumer engagement is shifting and healthy lifestyle is driving this transformation. Emergent is a specialist in leveraging this insight to grow food businesses. We bring the latest insights and innovative strategies to help food businesses navigate the new consumer landscape.
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Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent, the healthy living agency. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to emerging and established food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies. Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact Bob@Emergent-Comm.com and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.