Four people walk into a grocery store to buy soup. One looks for a soup they’ve never tried before. One person grabs the same soup they always get. The third person scours the section for the best soup deal possible. Finally, the fourth person picks the soup that’s the easiest to prepare. All four went into the store looking for one thing, but all of them ended up purchasing a different brand.
This is the challenge food producers face every day. Sure, everyone needs food, but we all search, purchase and consume different foods for different reasons. But a recent study from Gartner shows that we can at least narrow down the different types of food consumers into four major groups that make up 75% of all U.S. consumers.
This is the most prevalent type of food consumer and the most unpredictable. They skew the youngest of any group and desire diverse experiences and flavors. Variety seekers find entertainment in cooking different meals or partaking in food-related activities. At the store, they’re looking for something new to feed their curiosity and their creativity.
This group makes up 18% of grocery shoppers and are primarily in the Gen X and Boomer age groups. Like this group’s name suggests, they stick to the foods and drinks they trust. They love consistency, simplicity and predictability, making them very loyal to big brands. When they shop, they know exactly where to go to find the products they’re used to buying.
This thrifty group makes up 14% of grocery shoppers and are mostly located in suburban or rural areas. You’d think this group was based on income levels, but no. This group is made up of price-conscious shoppers of all incomes, driven by a desire to avoid waste. Cost-cutters are likely to scour multiple brands to find the best deals. In fact, they see it as a challenge. They’re not so loyal to a brand, unless that brand is always the cheapest. They take their cues about what to buy, cook and eat based on price.
Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. That’s the mantra of convenience-oriented food shoppers. Making up 12% of consumers, this group likes food, but they like it as fast and convenient as possible. They want to be able to buy food anywhere at any time and are willing to spend more for that convenience. This group is the most likely to order meals and shop for food online, and appreciate the trend toward expanded dining and shopping selections at less conventional retail outlets, such as convenience stores, pharmacies and mini markets.
Being able to pool food consumers into four groups gives marketing leaders a lot more focus when building product marketing strategies. For food producers, keeping these different groups in mind may spark new ideas or help them tweak current products to appeal more to one of the group’s behaviors. Creating ingredients to help you meet consumers’ tastes just happens to be what MGP is exceptional at.