How Does Consumer Awareness Today Inform Our Understanding of Future Trends?

Nielsen recently studied what they refer to as a “conscious awakening” within the CPG and grocery industry. They’ve focused on the “healthy for me, healthy for we” concept in which shoppers are concerned with aligning their personal beliefs with their purchase choices. As a CPG industry professional, the trick is to understand what the next hot button issues will be and why.

Increasingly high levels of food label literacy and interest are reshaping the industry and feeding a growing desire for ingredient transparency. Nielsen has postulated that by identifying what issues consumers are currently most aware of they can chart a course forward to determine what the next trends will be.

Respondents Awareness of Key Causes

When Nielsen looked deeper into participants’ interest around learning more about these issues, nearly all topics reported over 50 percent; concern for bee populations and food production were at the top. According to Nielsen, it was millennials and Gen X that showed the most interest in all topics except for “trade tariffs and sugar reduction.”

Respondents Interest in Learning More About Key Causes

The big question is, are consumers putting their money in line with their concerns? The short answer is yes, 52-week sales (ending Dec. 29, 2018) of related items in the top 10 are up:

+3.6% locally grown/sourced

+1.8% no added sugar

+7.8% non-GMO

+3.6% antibiotic free

+39% bee byproducts**

**Interestingly, awareness of declining bee populations seems to lead to (or at least not inhibit) greater demand for honey in 2018.

Finding deeper insights into the data to predict where market forces are moving helps us understand what is important to our consumers to better serve their needs. Nielsen points out that the loudest voices are not always the majority; it is this type of data analysis that allows us to find the trends that may be underlying the popular narrative.

See the original analytics breakdown here: