MACHINE Insights – Quirky Food Habits of Consumers

Posted: September 19, 2012

Consumers are creatures of habit when buying food, a survey by Answered, the research arm of digital agency Machine has found.

“Consumers typically have a brand repertoire when they shop as a means of ‘survival’, owning to the massive brand options available when browsing in-store,” says Adrian Hewlett, the agency’s CEO.

They conducted an online poll last month to test the South African consumer’s relationship with food brands and advertising.

Many consumers agree (80% of the panel surveyed) that they are “creatures of habit” when buying food, always going for the same brands. Brand loyalty is strong, with only 9% claiming that they are not loyal to the every day brands that they buy and that they like to try new brands.

In fact, consumers in the LSM 8 spectrum showed higher levels of brand loyalty with 38% claiming that they are “very loyal” versus only 22% in the LSM A category.

When it comes to communication, TV topped the logs, trumping all other forms of media as the panel’s top choice for most effective forms of advertising in both LSM A and B. However, in-store advertising and print also had an impact on this market segment.

In-store coupons also remain a hit, with 83% of respondents indicating that in-store advertising influences them to buy the actual product on promotion at the time of purchase.

What was also interesting is that up to 32% of consumers surveyed said they would actually stop buying a product if they didn’t like the advertising.

Brands that scored points for most liked advertising included Nando’s, Robertsons Spices and KFC. Woolworths took top honours for store advertising that “makes me want to shop there”.

Even though it was an online panel, only 14% said they shopped online for groceries, although 50% believed they would in the future and 46% already used the web to search for recipes.

The consumer panel surveyed was online, equally distributed between genders and in the prime consumption years of between 25 and 34.