Today we are on a quest for groceries that are convenient, healthy, and that fit within our budgets. To make sure products are added to these shoppers’ baskets, manufacturers and retailers need to pay attention to several major shifts in consumer eating habits.
Today, cooking meals at home is gaining popularity, approaching a 20 year high. Eat- in and packing food from home is back. Approximately, 72% of meals are now prepared in the home, reviving once stagnant food segments like basic ingredients, home baking, prepared mix, heat and eat, and frozen ingredients. Shoppers are opting to spend more time with family, and in fact, many people now prefer entertaining family and friends at home instead of going out. As a result, sales of gourmet snacks and specialty foods have seen a significant spike.
Even though consumers are eating at home, they still like to indulge in restaurant-style foods at home. To cater to that need, products that are co-branded with restaurants have been gracing more supermarket shelves.
Private Label Preference
Many consumers are still feeling the effects of the financial crisis and as a result, they have tightened their belts when it comes to grocery spending. 65 percent of consumers report that they care more about price than they do about brand, causing a strong shift towards private label brands, which these price conscious consumers often end up preferring.
Healthy eating has become a priority and food shoppers have become increasingly aware of the nutrients in the food they eat. Though consumers continue to find fortified foods appealing, more and more people are gravitating towards products that are naturally high in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Many people are making focused efforts to stay away from foods high in sodium, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives and are limiting the processed foods they eat. “Natural” and “organic” have become buzz words that have a lot of pull with these consumers who are trying to eat healthier – with whole grains continuing to be the most sought after health claim to add to a product’s packaging.
Though high inflation and unemployment paint a dark economic picture, the CPG industry may be able to escape some of the pitfalls – especially if marketers and retailers stay on top of these evolving trends and adopt new strategies to meet the consumers’ changing needs.
Tags: Eating Habits