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Deli Business: From Speculation to Strategy: How Johnsonville Used Behaviorally Verified Research to Drive Decision-Making

Consumer survey panels are invaluable for brands seeking consumer insights. Tapping into consumer preferences, perceptions and behaviors can inform key decisions around product development, advertising, marketing and more. But these insights are only as good as the sample quality behind them. We’ll explore the role behaviorally verified research played in helping national meat purveyor, Johnsonville, understand the key factors driving changes in shopper behavior.

Decoding shopper behavior

Across popular breakfast items and categories, Johnsonville and Kroger had noticed a decline in sales specifically focusing on breakfast meats — both sausage and bacon. Unit sales were down across both categories, with fewer households purchasing these items and buyers putting these items in their basket on fewer trips. Johnsonville executives speculated on several potential reasons for the sales slump, including price increases, consumers returning to offices, inflationary pressures, changes to SNAP benefits, rising egg prices and interest in healthier alternatives. However, without concrete insights directly from shoppers, the true drivers were unclear. To get to the bottom of the changes in shopper behavior, Johnsonville collaborated with 84.51°, a retail data, insights and media company. Johnsonville used 84.51° Stratum, the business insights tool to find the relevant behavioral insights, and identified the existence of a large group of consumers who were continuing to engage in the categories but who were dramatically reducing their spend.

By leveraging 84.51°’s agile research solution, Real Time Insights, Johnsonville was able to survey a niche consumer group of 150 verified bacon-buying households and 150 verified breakfast sausage-buying households that had reduced their purchases of these items by 50% or more in the past year.


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