Consumer Digest: New Product Innovation October 2023
Welcome to the October edition of the Consumer Digest, where we aim to provide relevant informative and actionable insights around consumer trends. This month, we are focusing on new product innovation. We’ll look at shoppers’ preferences for new products across categories and functional benefits. From there, we’ll examine how they are discovering new items and their willingness to put those new items in their cart. We’ll also look at consumers’ view on expandable consumption. Finally, we'll wrap with how inflation may affect the upcoming holiday season.
Financial Fright! Are shoppers spooked over their spending?
Shopper’s comfort over their finances shifted slightly this month with 25% reporting feeling uncomfortable (B2B) with their finances vs. 22% last month.
Gen Z and Millennials (25yrs – 34yrs) are significantly more uncomfortable with their finances when compared to Boomers (65yrs – 74yrs).
Product innovation – Shoppers seek innovation across many categories with some differences by age cohort
While Covid created a strong focus on-shelf and in-stock fundamentals, supply chains have largely recovered which has enabled more opportunities for innovation in the CPG space. New preferences across categories and product attributes are starting to emerge.
Shelf-stable grocery, fresh bakery, and frozen food lead as categories where shoppers would most like to see new products available
Shoppers are seeking innovation to provide functional benefits, clean ingredients and higher protein options
Given financial pressures, shoppers remain mindful of the price they are paying even when making decisions on trying new products
Percent of shoppers who are extremely concerned (T2B) about these attributes when trying new products:
62%: In-store availability
61%: On sale
55% Coupon availability
Product innovation – New item discovery and purchase decisions
Shoppers discover new items in a myriad of ways and report a higher likelihood to purchase new products when they receive a discount or coupon to drive savings.
The most frequent ways that shoppers report discovering new items to try is through in-store display, product advertisements and product coupons
47%: In-store display
45%: Product advertisements
42%: Product coupons
41%: On sale/promotion
41%: In-store signage
33%: Recommended by someone
23%: Product samples
22%: Social media
20%: Retailer website
Shoppers are more likely to try new products if there is a price reduction or they have a coupon available
70%: Product price reduction
68%: Coupon for the new product
33%: Product on display in-store
32%: Advertisement with product benefits
28%: Recipe for the new product
13%: Used by celebrity/influencer
Shoppers were about equally divided in where they would like to find new items in-store
34%: In section for new items only
36%: In standard category section
31%: In standard category section with “New” item callout
Products that rank high in expandable consumption, like snacks/candy and drinks are ripe for consumer experimentation with purchase decisions often made at the time of purchase, and even in addition to planned purchase.
When is the purchase decision made for new products? What categories are purchased incrementally?
Plan to purchase new item ahead of time
67%: Baby care
64%: Personal care
61%: Paper products & health care
Often buy new item instead of planned item
46%: Fresh Bakery
38%: Household cleaning
Often buy new item in addition to planned item
19%: Frozen Food
Willingness to try new products from national brands vs. private label
43%: Extremely likely (T2B) to purchase from a national brand they already use
36%: Extremely likely (T2B) to purchase from a private label brand they already use
Willingness to try new products from brick-and-mortar vs. online
37%: Extremely likely (T2B) to purchase from a brick-and-mortar retailer where they currently shop
31%: Extremely likely (T2B) to purchase from an online retailer where they currently shop
Perceptions of expandable consumption
Shoppers have an awareness of some expandable consumption habits, citing the ability to quickly and easily use as their primary reason for using more, followed by always having the product stocked in their home, or using out of habit
Which of the following categories do you often find you’re using more of when you have those product(s) in your home?
40%: Drinks (soft drinks, juices, etc.)
38%: Paper Products (toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, etc.)
31%: Dairy (milk, cheese, etc.)
29%: Frozen Food
For what reasons, if any, do you find you use more of a product when you have them in your home?
49%: I use more of a product because it’s quick and easy to use
36%: I use more of a product because I always have the product stocked in home
32%: I use more of a product out of habit
27%: I use more of a product because I’m afraid the product will go bad/expire quickly
23%: I use more of a product because it is hard for me to control how much I use the product
19%: I use more of a product because I always buy the larger/bigger/value size
How shoppers are preparing for the upcoming holiday season
When do you plan to start your holiday gift shopping this year?
30%: In the next month
28%: I have already started
19%: In the next few weeks
15%: I do not plan to do any holiday gift shopping this year
5%: Within a week of the holiday
3%: Within a few days of the holiday
What activities do you plan to do this upcoming holiday season?
52%: Listen to holiday music
52%: Decorate your home with holiday decorations
47%: Use family recipes for cooking/baking
41%: Use streaming services to watch holiday movies
36%: Host a gathering at your home for friends/family
20%: Donate to a charity
Take-out over Turkey? How shoppers’ Thanksgiving meal plans might differ from last year
What types of Thanksgiving meals shoppers plan on having this year compared to a year ago:
Traditional Thanksgiving Meal, Cooked At Your Home (47% compared to 51% last year)
Traditional Thanksgiving Meal, Cooked At Someone Else’s Home (22% compared to 34% last year)
Traditional Thanksgiving Meal Purchased Already, Prepared At Your Home (9% compared to 10% last year)
Traditional Thanksgiving Meal Purchased Already, Prepared At Someone Else’s Home (8% compared to 9% last year)
Heavy Appetizers Instead of a Full-scale Meal, At Your Home (5% compared to 5% last year)
Heavy Appetizers Instead of a Full-scale Meal, At Someone Else’s Home (3% compared to 5% last year)
Eating Out at a Restaurant (6% compared to 4% last year)
Inflation is putting a damper on holiday celebrations – especially for lower income and older adults. Trends in responses by Income and Age indicate that certain groups of shoppers, primarily those making less than $50k and those ages 55 years or older, are less likely to celebrate and shop this holiday season.
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SOURCE: 84.51° Real Time Insights, October 2023
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