This time of year gives us the perfect opportunity to look back and reflect on what we’ve learned in 2022. And we’ve learned a lot! As researchers, our innate curiosity and role leads us to discoveries and insights all the time. Not only did we uncover interesting and actionable knowledge for our client projects, but we also satisfied our curiosity about human behavior through our original research. In our recent webinar, our VP of Marketing Carrie Janot led a discussion with our CRO Greg Stucky and CEO Dave Lundahl to dig into our top five insights for this past year:
- Sustainability is an aspirational shopping goal for 54% of consumers
- For plant-based meat purchasers, 47% are willing to trade away taste to be environmentally friendly
- Only 42% of shoppers trust the food system in the USA
- Many people (52%) participate in self-deprivation challenges to support self-improvement
- No matter how you ask about race and ethnicity, you are going to make at least 10% of respondents upset
Aspiring to Shop Sustainability
In our recent “Aspirational Compass” study, our biggest wow was that 54% of people aspire to shop sustainably. And while that is a great shopping goal, we also found that only 5% are actually able to meet their goals of shopping sustainably. Hence, we have identified what we call a “gap” between shopper aspirations and shopper reality in the store.
When we talk about this gap, we use it to identify white space in which brands can innovate to help close the gap. As our CEO Dave mentions in the webinar, many major brands do not position products with sustainability first and this is an opportunity to shift messaging or production to help consumers close this gap between their sustainability goals and their actual purchases. Opportunity abounds to use market research to understand more about how consumers feel about sustainability, and how to innovate for them!
Trade-offs for Plant-Based Meat
Another interesting topic coming out of our “Aspirational Compass” study—also related to sustainability—was plant-based meat. One of the aspects we explored were “trade-offs.” What are consumers willing to forgo or trade in order to meet their aspirational shopping goals? In the case of meat alternatives, 47% of plant-based buyers were willing to trade off taste to satisfy their aspirations of environmental responsibility. These results clue brands into playing up other aspects, beyond taste, to meet any gaps that exist between purchasing and aspirations.
You can read our blog, “How Plant-Based Meats Meet the Goals of the Aspirational Shopper,” to learn even more about the synergies between sustainability aspirations and the plant-based meat industry.
Consumer Trust in the Food System
Consumer trust is a subject InsightsNow has been tracking for several years. Our recent study wave on this continuing topic shows that 42% of shoppers do trust the U.S. food system, showing that trust levels are rising over previous years. Trust in the government, and even expectations of government involvement in the food system is actually down over previous years though.
Some of the reasons people are looking for informational sources to trust about their food is that they are trying to overcome any fears that they may have. There are differences in levels of trust between people who shop online, shop at natural food stores, or shop at mainstream grocery stores. To learn more, check out what Greg and Dave have to say about trust in our “Top Five Insights for 2022” webinar.
Self-Improvement and Impact on Shopping Behavior
Self-deprivation for the purpose of self-improvement is very common, with 52% of people reporting that they participate in health and wellness challenges like Dryuary, Whole30 and other diets and fitness programs. People are driven by their aspirations to participate in these programs, and it provides an interesting opportunity for brands to communicate benefits of their products that align with consumer desire to change behavior.
You can learn more about the study into this consumer behavior by viewing our past webinar presented in partnership with Mars Wrigley, “An Innovator’s Look at Deprivation Health Improvement Challenges.”
Asking Race and Ethnicity Questions in Market Research
This past year, we participated in a study with the Insights Association’s IDEA Council to learn better ways to ask demographic questions, specifically race and ethnicity questions. The study gave the market research industry many insights into ways to go beyond asking race and ethnicity questions and shift thinking about identity in order to keep being relevant and to be more inclusive to all study participants. To learn more about the study, you can see a suite of articles published in Quirks magazine about the project, or check out our webinar “Designing inclusive surveys: The impact of asking race and ethnicity questions in different ways.”
How can these insights and discoveries help inform your 2023 strategies? Dave, Greg, and our client experts would love to discuss how you can incorporate these into your roadmap. Let’s chat!