business news in context, analysis with attitude

In this month’s edition of Facts, Figures & The Future, Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen Homescan & Spectra, writes that a new survey shows that “about 19% of households claiming to have a gourmet cook in their home. At a time when consumers are dealing with high gas prices and inflation across store shelves, households with a gourmet cook have distinct shopping and buying behaviors, making them an attractive target for food and non-food retailers who are looking to maximize their sales in a soft economy.

“While gourmet cooks can be found in many household types, they have some unique and attractive demographics: a disproportionate percentage of gourmet cooks have household incomes of $100,000 or more; they have a tendency to live in large cosmopolitan centers or in affluent suburban areas; (and) the household head is employed in a professional or managerial occupation.”

And here’s the good news for many retailers. Hale writes that “in terms of their retail channel shopping behaviors, gourmet cook households make five additional trips to a grocery store each year than do remaining U.S. households. In terms of annual per household spending across retail channels, gourmet cooks outspend other households by 11% across total outlets and are big spenders in warehouse clubs (+20%), grocery stores (+17%), drug stores (+15%) and even dollar stores (+11%).”

In addition, Anne-Marie Roerink, director of research at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), writes about the fact that despite constant media attention, obesity rates in the US remain on the rise. “In fact, of the 94 percent of shoppers who make any effort to eat a healthy diet, just 11 percent say they are successful all the time. These shoppers are a vitally important group to understand for both retailers to develop their programming and for the vast majority of shoppers who do not have as much success.

So how do these ‘Successful Healthy Eaters’ achieve this healthy eating ideal? They are, first and foremost, people who have a goal, a plan to pursue that goal and ways to stick to the plan. What distinguishes them is the consistency of their attitudes and behavior related to healthy eating. It shows in the way they shop, where they shop, how they feed their families and where they look for information.”

And the opportunity for retailers, it seems, is to provide them with the information necessary to make intelligent decisions with some staying power.

And, in this assessment of the retail marketplace during tough economic times, F3 writes that “retailers got the message early from consumers this past year: stay price-relevant to our household needs or we'll shop elsewhere to save. Operators have responded quickly and decisively with catchy price promotions storewide to stimulate traffic and keep categories on shopping lists despite consumers' frugal bent.

Less than wonderful for the latest quarterly results, deep promotions are the honey attracting many shoppers to come back to stores with savings strategies in mind. Across shopper demographic groups, buying on promotion, and stocking up when prices are favorable, are two of today's primary savings strategies. Meanwhile, retailer loyalty leaders that can effectively appeal to their top shoppers, do target them with exceptional rewards based on their individual purchase histories.”

And, there’s much more.

To get your copy of F3, go to:

F3 is a joint production of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert.

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