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Food Industry Executive: What Does Brand Loyalty Mean in 2023?

Price increases over the past few years have consumers rethinking what they put in their shopping cart. Many have stopped buying certain products or have switched brands for a better deal. At the same time, some factors – like sustainability – seem to protect against trading down.

So what does brand loyalty mean today?

New research from retail data science, insights, and media company 84.51° shows that consumers’ ideas about loyalty are changing. Specifically, very few (only 5%) say loyalty means only ever buying one specific brand.

Most consumers think about loyalty much more flexibly. Roughly one-quarter agree with each of the following statements: “It is the brand I buy most often,” “I have a preferred brand but I’m willing to try other brands,” and “It is one of the top (but not the only) brands I consider.”

The top driver of brand loyalty is being a “good value for the money” – 62% of consumers said this is what they look for, followed at a distance by a “brand I trust” (34%) and “comes in varieties I want” (20%).

Brand loyalty also appears to be quite resilient. A vast majority of consumers reported that their loyalty to their preferred brands hasn’t changed in the past year. Those who did report changes were much more likely to say that they’ve become more loyal to their preferred brand than to say they’ve become less loyal.


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