Consumers worldwide are changing their purchasing habits and the sustainable food revolution appears to have taken off. These are the findings of the Wave X-Remix Culture report, carried out by the IPG Mediabrands Group, which surveyed 56,398 consumers from 81 countries on their consumption habits. The report also predicts that in the next three years, 23% of buyers will increase their consumption of sustainable vegetable products and 13% will increase purchases of non-fresh sustainably produced items.
The organic market is no longer a niche. Consumers are placing greater value in socio-environmental issues, such as the use of plastics, buying local produce, or greater regulations on industrial processes. The report also highlights that consumers are uncertain of the consequences of GM foods and artificial ingredients, and are concerned about the increase in allergies, intolerances and digestive difficulties. Healthy eating concerns have driven continued growth in sales of sustainable and organic products (+8.4 pp since 2013), while lowering consumption of artificial additives and red meat (-35% in the last year).
The new consumer is looking for brands that identify with their values (61% of respondents said that brands have an important social role). The new consumer is less credulous and more distrustful and critical of the information he or she receives. The new consumer does not believe all of the messages transmitted by brands and companies.
EU consumers spent 12.1% of their total expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages, amounting to over €1.047 billion (or 6.6% of EU GDP), according to Eurostat data. Food and beverages ranks as the third largest category of household expenditure after ‘housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ (24.0%), and ‘transport’ (13.2%). Romania is the country with the highest proportion of household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages (27.8%), followed by Lithuania (20.9%) and Estonia (19.6%). The lowest proportions were recorded for the United Kingdom (7.8%), Ireland (8.7%), Luxembourg (9.1%) and Austria (9.7%).
Between 2008 and 2018, the share of total household expenditure on food decreased or remained stable in most EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest decrease was recorded in Lithuania (from 24.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 20.9% in 2018, or a fall of 3.9 percentage points), followed by Poland (-3.4 pp) and Malta (-3.0 pp). In contrast, household expenditure on food increased in 10 EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest increase was recorded in Czechia and Slovakia (both +1.4 pp), the Netherlands (+1.0 pp) and Hungary (+0.8 pp).
Are you a conscious improver, eager explorer, wholesome habits or flavour follower consumer?
Australia’s vegetable consumers can be divided into these four groups according to whether they value taste over nutrition and prefer exploring new options over sticking to their old favourites, new research suggests.
Health is the core driver behind the average Australian’s vegetable purchases, but the variety of vegetables they buy is determined by how much they prioritise each of those four key drivers. According to a news release by horticultural body Ausveg, the report, produced by market research agency Colmar Brunton, shows Australian vegetable buyers can be divided into the four roughly equal groups based on their personalities and the benefits they’re looking to get out of their vegetable consumption:
- Conscious Improvers: consumers who love new things and nutritional benefits.
- Flavour Followers: those who aim to buy what they already know they like.
- Wholesome Habits: those who look for nutrition but prefer their staple vegetable choices. (These consumers value recommendations from family and friends, and place less importance on recommendations from media sources.)
- Eager Explorers: buyers who value taste and explore new vegetables. (Nearly 60% of them get inspiration from cookbooks, and around a third of the same group say they take recommendations from media like MasterChef and Better Homes and Gardens.)
Kurt Hermann. Ausveg assistant manager for industry development, said taking the categories into account can provide better insight into what value Australian consumers looking for from their vegetables and where they get their inspiration.
“This data creates the opportunity for growers and other industry members to develop strategies that will connect with each segment and highlight the aspects of vegetables that they really care about.”
The report is part of a consumer and market research project funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government. Ausveg represents more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets in Spain have snatched market share from dedicated fresh produce providers, a Nielson report says.
It says during the financial crisis consumers changed their fresh produce shopping habits, helping supermarkets and hypermarkets win share from the specialist channel – rising from 51% in 2008 to 58% last year.
Nielson said the Spanish supermarkets and hypermarkets were helped by their improvments in assortment and quality. Fresh produce is very important to them because it is bought more often and thus generates more store traffic and customer loyalty, helping stores increase sales in other categories, it said.
Lower fruit and vegetable prices see Spanish consumers buy more
In another report on shopping trends, Nielson estimated fresh produce sales in Spain last year to have been worth €21 billion.
It also said a 1.1% fall in retail prices means Spanish shoppers can now buy more for less. Last year that translated into them buying 0.7% more in volume than in 2013, but for a total value down 0.4%.
The price drop was most pronounced in fresh produce and in particular fruit and vegetables. “Sales of fruit and vegetables had the highest growth, 2.9% and 1.8% respectively, due to a reduction in prices by about 5%,” Nielson said
Read (in Spanish) about the first report here and the second report here.