by | Sep 30, 2022

Consumers’ actual behavior may not always equate with how they hope or aspire to behave. At InsightsNow we call this “the gap.” In a recent study we looked at the gap between aspirational buys, and actual (situational) buys in food and beverage by asking consumers what they’d do differently between shopping in an “ideal world” versus how they actually shop today. This assessment helps us understand the gaps that exist—even for specific shopping scenarios for specific products. You can learn more about the results of that study in our recent webinar, “Aspirations vs. Reality: How the Gap Sparks Innovation,” and go even deeper into solutions in our upcoming webinar, “Beyond Clean Label –Targeting Aspirational Gaps.

Using Implicit Testing to Understand The Gap

To understand the gap, we’ve employed an implicit testing approach, our proprietary InsightsNow Implicit/Explicit Test™. In this implicit approach to understanding human behavior, study participants begin with a calibration exercise to familiarize them with how the questions work, and identify where to set a cut-off time to identify an implicit response from an explicit response for each participant. Then, priming prepares the brain to have associations and context at the ready. During assessment, the primed question is shown and a series of words, phrases or pictures are flashed quickly and the participant selects the positive or negative response. 

Exploring Shopper Aspirations at SSP

In Savannah at the Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) annual conference November 2-4, InsightsNow will present a poster on this aspirational shopper theme. Titled “Unfulfilled Aspirations: ​A New Mindset for Segmentation​,” the poster will explore how there is a gap between what consumers would love to do and what they actually do in real life. These in-the-moment tradeoffs reveal consumers’ true priorities as well as how strongly humans will hold to aspirations. 

Innovating in The Aspirational Gap

At SSP, we will talk about how understanding this gap through implicit testing offers food and beverage companies a unique space in which to innovate. Using the gap as an opportunity to improve products will then make it easier for people to fulfill their aspirational goals.​ As we state in our recent blog on this topic, “The Aspirational Shopper in the Real World,” food and beverage product developers “need to keep up with consumer attitudes and perceptions about new ingredients, emerging product benefits and the association between ingredients and benefits to substantiate claims.” 

To learn more about reaching—and understanding—the aspirational shopper, we hope you can join our poster session at the Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) annual conference, or reach out to us to learn more!