Food Business News “IFT20: COVID-19 impacting consumer perceptions of health and wellness”

Monday, July 13, 2020

SHIFT20 Virtual

Food Business News spotlighted InsightsNow's virtual webinar at SHIFT20 on how the pandemic is affecting Global Consumer Perceptions of Health & Wellness.  Results from research conducted in fall of 2019 and April 2020 across 10 countries revealed regional and cultural differences in attitudes and behaviors regarding health which have sharpened due to the pandemic threat.

Because of COVID-19 consumers have heightened interest in ingredients in foods that provide health benefits, eg. boost immunity, decrease inflammation, boost cardiac and GI function, reduce stress, and improve general well-being.   As the article quoted presenter Greg Stucky, “Now, nearly half the population on a global basis are looking for good sources of vitamins and minerals.”

This virtual webinar is available on-demand at Institute of Food Technologists first totally virtual Annual Meeting and Expo.  It is one of two presentations from InsightsNow at ShIFT20.  InsightsNow is also a sponsor of a symposium on Global Design of Clean Label Foods.

Consumers turn to immunity supplements during COVID-19

The Clean Label Enthusiasts® research community at InsightsNow reveals demand for immunity supplements and functional ingredients during the continuing pandemic 

25 June 2020 – Chicago, IL  InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has released a new wave of research focusing on consumer perceptions and behavior regarding supplements and functional ingredients in today’s world. The study, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior,” delves into insights from their proprietary, trend-identifying Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) consumer research community.  

Study participants shared beliefs that supplements and functional ingredients are important for strengthening their immune systems against COVID-19. The research showed that consumers are looking for trusted sources for information about which products will help boost immunity.  

According to a CLE from the recent study: If the [supplement] information is backed by scientific research and data, I am much more likely to trust the information I am receiving. If the ingredients have been proven to show benefitsI am much more likely to try a supplement. 

It was also found that all-natural and organic supplement claims are perceived as valuable by CLE. They express that these claims give them confidence they are only getting what is necessary, with no fillers, in the products they choose to purchase. 

I look for supplements that are organic and do not have ingredients that aren’t necessary, such as additives and dyes. If someone I know and trust recommends a brand that I’ve never heard of, I will research it to make sure it only contains ingredients I’m aware of,” says a CLE. 

Some key findings from the study: 

  • Forty-two percent of CLE believe supplements or functional ingredients will strengthen their immunity, 48% think they might help, while only 10% do not think they will help.  
  • Seventy-five percent of CLE said that supplements are somewhat or very important in strengthening their immunity against COVID-19. 
  • Thirty-nine percent of CLE said they look for supplement and functional ingredient information on Google, 24% look to friends and family, 22% to doctors and medical professionals. 

The responses show that supplements and functional ingredients offer hope of immunity even though there is no “proof” they improve immunity. 

As one CLE states: COVID-19 is new, and we don't know of anything that help us build an immunity to it. However, building your immunity through a supplement or a functional ingredient can't hurt your chances.” 

Each week InsightsNow's Clean Label Enthusiast® community of primary shoppers reveals motivations for purchasing behaviors through an online shopping journal. The study gives insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean-living behaviors during this time by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes. New study information is added on a regular basis to the InsightsNow COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior. 

To learn more about the study and enquire about upcoming research topics, reach out to InsightsNow at  

About InsightsNow
InsightsNow, an agile behavioral research firm, partners with clients across a wide array of industry verticals to grow marketing, branding and product development through custom, cutting-edge research technologies and innovative techniques. The company specializes in finding answers faster, improving speed-to and success-in market, and changing the way we all look at humans and human behavior. InsightsNow was named one of the most innovative market research firms in the world by Greenbook’s 2018 Grit Report. 


Media contact: Michelle Andre, 415-577-8634, 

Recent meat shortage could offer opportunity for plant-based proteins

Recent meat shortage could offer opportunity for plant-based proteins

InsightsNow’s Clean Label Enthusiasts® research community claims to be prepared for meat shortages, due to the Coronavirus, by eating vegetarian or purchasing alternative meats

11 June 2020 – Chicago, IL – InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has announced the latest results of their ongoing study with their proprietary Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) consumer research community, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.” These trend-setting consumers shared thoughts on how meat is becoming harder to find and more expensive due to complications from the current pandemic, and the effect on their shopping behavior.

According to a CLE from the recent study: “I feel prepared for a meat shortage because I am willing to eat plant-based proteins or any protein options I can find in stores. If I can't find fresh chicken or beef, I will eat other meat options like veggies burgers or beans. I really see a meat shortage as a chance to make healthier, more environmentally friendly, more resourceful food choices.”

Some key findings from the study:

  • During a meat shortage 60% of CLE would switch to a vegetarian diet. Currently, only 14% are following a vegetarian diet.

  • CLE who have never tried plant-based meats are primarily motivated to try because they believe it is healthier (29%), they are curious about the taste (31%), and they can avoid animal hormones (19%).

Plant-based meat alternatives have opportunity to grow market share during a meat shortage, as Clean Label Enthusiasts (CLE) are comfortable eating a plant-based diet and are willing to use plant-based meats in place of fresh meat with similar pricing. Supporting data includes:

  • Only 12% of CLE say they would pay higher prices (specifically twice as much) to continue eating fresh meat.

  • Eighty-two percent of CLE are open to trying plant-based meat alternatives.

For example, the study participants shared they are specifically looking for ground plant-based meat alternatives as a comparable alternative for burgers, tacos, spaghetti, and other dishes they regularly prepare.

“I imagine that ground chuck would be the hardest meat product to go without,” says a CLE consumer. “But I would not be upset if I could not afford to buy it for a period of time, because I would easily substitute it with plant-based patties and other frozen forms of plant-based substitutes.”

Results from this wave of the study show the majority of people (69%) feel prepared for a meat shortage because they feel confident and accepting of adjusting their diet to be more vegetarian and/or pescatarian, they already have a freezer stocked with meat, or they don’t eat much meat on a regular basis anyway. Consumers have already navigated a toilet paper shortage, face masks, and social distancing during this pandemic and the study found they are desensitized to the stressor of having a meat shortage.

As one CLE states: “My family has been eating less meat lately anyway…I'm perfectly happy eating plant-based proteins. I've wanted to experiment with a more vegetarian/vegan diet for a while and now would be a good time to do so.”

Each week InsightsNow's Clean Label Enthusiast® community of primary shoppers reveals motivations for purchasing behaviors through an online shopping journal. Data is collected each Friday – Monday and released Wednesdays. The study gives insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean-living behaviors during this time by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes.

Each week, new study information will be added to the InsightsNow COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.

To learn more about the study and enquire about upcoming research topics, reach out to InsightsNow at 

CPGMatters Virtual LEAD Conference

Join us on Wednesday, May 20th at 2:30PM ET for the CPGMatters Spring 2020 Virtual LEAD Conference where we will be giving a presentation of “The Future of Clean Living; a Peak into Changes in Purchases and Behaviors in the face of COVID-19 ”.

Register so you can hear more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted consumers, companies and the markets they serve.

Pre-pandemic clean living has been a key driver of consumer behavior across the spectrum of fast-moving consumer goods.  Will this trend continue into a post pandemic new normal?  This presentation will provide actionable insights into this question.

Insights will be provided from a unique tracker into the behaviors and motives of primary shoppers from a community of Clean Label Enthusiasts®.  The talk will also offer some foresight into what might be the future of clean living. This session will be led by our Chief Research Officer, Greg Stucky.

Bring your questions!

The Spring 2020 Virtual LEAD Marketing Conference is produced and hosted by CPGMatters. Sessions covering all aspects of LEAD (Loyalty, Engagement, Analytics, and Digital Applications) will be presented between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 20th.

As a virtual conference, attendees can enjoy the live, interactive presentations from the comfort of their own office or home. You have the option of attending the entire day-long event, or simply log in for our session. Additionally, all sessions will be recorded and made available to conference registrants for on-demand playback at a later date.

We hope you can join us!

InsightsNow Ongoing COVID-19 Report Release- April 2020

InsightsNow releases ongoing study of change in clean living behavior in response to COVID-19 

Research examines behaviors of Clean Label Enthusiasts® during the pandemic by looking at previous, current and future mindsets, trade-offs, and motivators 

23 April 2020 – Chicago, IL – InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has announced an ongoing study with their proprietary Clean Label Enthusiasts® consumer research community, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.” The study provides insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean living behaviors during the novel Coronavirus pandemic by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes. Insightsnow's Clean Label Enthusiast® (CLE) community of primary shoppers, identified to be driving the clean label movement, provided responses to give lead indicators into changing behaviors now—and those anticipated in the future.  

By leveraging our existing community of trendsetters, we are able to find answers quickly during a time when brands must pivot quickly,” said Greg Stucky, Chief Research Officer of InsightsNow. “One of the key aspects of this study is how we are able to look deeply at a leading set of primary shoppers and evaluate their behavior over time, including pre-pandemic. We are also discovering how the current health situation is putting increased momentum behind the overall clean label movement.” 

Results show a timeline of behavioral changes in response to COVID-19.    

  • Starting the week of March 9 in the U.S., the CLE community started making changes to their diets due to the novel Coronavirus. 36% of CLE were already making changes in vitamins and supplements (65%), and diet and lifestyle (48%). 
  • During the last week of March, the study began to track consumer emotions regarding shopping for grocery and household items with 45% reporting frustration and worry, with satisfaction levels decreased to only 12%. By the third week of April emotions were improving with only 25% reporting frustration, and satisfaction up to 33%.  
  • Higher purchase rates during the first week of April occurred in some categories, 15% buying more eggs than pre-pandemic, and 13% buying more bread products and salty snack items.  
  • During the second week of AprilCLE reported their day-to-day behaviors continuing to evolve22% utilized at home delivery of groceries most often, up from 9pre-pandemic. There were increases in purchasing of comfort foods like desserts and sweets. 
  • By the third week of April emotions were improving with only 25% reporting frustration, and satisfaction up to 33%. The percent increase in online ordering is starting to level off with 26% shopping for groceries online most often.  

Behavioral data for this ongoing report is being collected from the company’s proprietary research community of Clean Label Enthusiast® (CLE)—primary shoppers with a specific set of behaviors around the clean living movement that influence their buying decisions. Some of these behaviors include inspection of front and back product labels, ingredient beliefs about clean products, and advocating for the food industry.  This ongoing study includes 500 members of the U.S. based community, with insights gathered through qualitative engagements and quantitative surveys. 

To view ongoing updates to the study, users can gain access here:


Webinar: “A New Formula for Disruptive Product Innovation”

Using Behavioral Insights in Product Design Sprints

(first in a new series)

Date:   Thursday, March 19  2 pm ET

 Dave Lundahl, CEO, InsightsNow Inc.  and Mark Crowell, CEO of CuliNex

We live in a time of disruptive change.  Nowhere is change more pertinent than in the food industry where changes in consumer behavior as well as advances in food technology and ingredient innovation are driving challenges and opportunities.  In response to this change, innovators and technologist need new tools and approaches for more rapid, iterative food product design based on behavioral insights.

Join us in this first in a series of webinars by InsightsNow in partnership with CuliNex where founders Dave Lundahl and Mark Crowell discuss a “new formula” for behavior-driven food product design.

In this webinar we'll:

  • Share how you'll accelerate product innovation using behavioral insights
  • Show powerful, yet simple tools, to help design for your consumers

Please join us on Thursday 3/19 at 2:00 ET for a webinar where you can learn about what happened at the expo if you were unable to attend in person.

Hope to see you there!       

The Team at InsightsNow     

Disruption in Market Research- Gaining Clarity through On-Demand Behavioral Research

The thought of being disrupted, of having to change a comfortable pattern of behavior, can lead to feelings of excitement and anticipation yet may also cause discomfort and concern.  In recent years, our ways have already been disrupted to the point where we have comfortable new behaviors: using on-demand services for transportation (Uber, Lyft), entertainment (Netflix, Hulu), and grocery shopping (Instacart, Amazon Prime).

These companies show us the best part about disruption – when you change people’s behavior, you meet needs and provide benefits people don’t even realize are possible.

Areas of Disruption

At InsightsNow we are very passionate about behavioral research, thinking to the future to create opportunities to disrupt. We’ve shown this passion of ours in each of three primary areas of disruption: technology, globalization and demographics.

  1. We started with demographic disruption by creating a behavioral segmentation to identify a community of forward-thinking consumer advocates for clean living.  (For this work, our CEO Dave Lundahl won the NGMR award, 2017 Change Agent of the Year.)
  2. Next, we layered on global disruption by understanding these consumers elsewhere in the world.  We changed the way we learn from them about clean label using an implicit/explicit approach to establish behavioral KPIs.
  3. Recently, we put our knowledge and insights together utilizing technology via the InsightsNow Behavioral App Store.  This platform provides on-demand access to consumer intelligence and baseline behavioral KPIs through on-line ordering of market research.

On-demand access to research is an important strategy to support business success. It provides for faster and more cost-effective insights so you better understand changes in product choices and translate information into clear and focused insights.  These new tools and services are reshaping how we do market research.  Professionals using these tools, based upon behavioral KPIs, will capture metrics and understand behavioral impact which drive disruption.

Contact us to learn more. We’d love to work with you, if we’re not already, to improve your research effectiveness and market success using on-demand market research.

Thank you!

Sarah Kirkmeyer, PhD

Senior Director, Client Partnerships


Webinar: Travel Restrictions? Agile Research Options in times of Disruption

When you can't get face-to-face


Travel restrictions can be both a blessing and a curse for consumer researchers. They give us more time in our schedules, but they also force us to change the way we conduct research. If this is a challenge you are facing, please join us to talk through effective ways you can leverage remote research to get you the results you need to make your next project successful.

In this webinar we'll:

  • Cover methodology you can use to run research remotely; including real-time, asynchronous, and hands-off methods.
  • Discuss pro’s and con’s to help you select methods that are the best fit for your situation.
  • Offer creative solutions to get the most out of testing.

Please join us on Thursday 3/12 at 2:00 ET for a webinar where you can learn about testing options when you’re unable to be face-to-face.


Hope to see you there!      

The Team at InsightsNow     

Natural Products Expo West

Update:  Although, NPE-West was postponed, we expect to attend the event when it is rescheduled.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Is Your Label Clean Enough?

What do consumers think?

NPE West logo 1575963467529

If you are looking for ways to improve your products' consumer perception, InsightsNow and partner CuliNex will be at Natural Products Expo West and want to talk Clean Label optimization.   

Come ask us about ...

  • your product ingredient score against category ideals
  • our extensive product development expertise and market successes
  • CRAEVS - a new agile partnership of consumer behavior insights and culinology/product development expertise to quickly create or renovate a home run product

Please look for us at Booth N-1302

March 3-5, 2020

Location:   Anaheim Convention Center

Webinar- February 2020 New Year Resolutions for Clean Living

Hopes, Dreams, and New Year’s Resolutions from Clean Label Enthusiasts

How are these consumers changing going into 2019?  and how strong is the resolve to act?

Date:   Thursday, February 13  2 pm ET

Greg Stucky, Chief Research Officer  and Karen Lynch, Sr. Director of Innovation Research & Insights

It’s February and everyone is still trying to dive into their new resolutions.

As we move into 2020, we are curious about how the behavior of "free-from" consumers will manifest in the New Year and how it differs from their intentions and behavior last year.  These Clean Label Enthusiasts consumers look for food and personal care products with simple, healthy, "clean-label" ingredients. 

Join us for a view of how Clean Label Enthusiasts in our custom community are changing and how they envision their future – their hopes, fears, and resolutions.   As this vocal, passionate consumer base is shaping general expectations for clean product labels, we want to help future-proof your business in light of these insights.                             

Please join us for 30 minutes to learn ways to keep your business ahead of the trends. We'll share some of the newest insights into this leading-edge segment's behavior and how you can apply this research approach to your innovation and marketing challenges. 

We hope to see you there,
The Team at InsightsNow