Tag Archives: consumer insight

Food For Thought: How Millennials Are Changing The Food Industry

Food, and what consumers expect from food manufacturers and grocery stores, is evolving. Case in point: after almost a decade of discussion, the FDA is now requiring restaurants and food chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts. One loud voice leading this charge is the millennial generation. Here are 4 ways millennials are changing the way we eat.

EASY MEALS

Millennials are looking for convenience when it comes to buying food, according to the International Food Information Council. A recent report by Alliance Bernstein found that two-thirds of millennials purchase prepared foods from some sort of service every week. Meal kits are no longer limited to subscription services like Blue Apron, however. Grocery stores have jumped on the trend in hopes of retaining millennial customers, partnering with brands like Campbell’s, Barilla and Ro-Tel to offer fresh, easy meals.

HEALTHY EATING

Millennials care about their health, and their meals reflect this. However, their definition of healthy may be different from that of past generations. They’re not necessarily looking for low-fat, low-cal, or low-carb. Instead, you may hear them talk about food that is organic, natural, locally sourced, or sustainable. Which leads us to…

TRANSPARENCY

Consumers are telling food manufacturers what they want, and what they want is transparency. Millennials have been demanding manufacturers show exactly what ingredients and sources create our food by including more informative food labels. In fact, 37% said they are willing to switch brands if their current brand does not provide them with the product information they seek. Intelligent brands who know fostering a relationship with the generation will be beneficial are prioritizing food transparency.

PICKUP OR DELIVERY?

Millennials are skipping traditional grocery stores or spending less on groceriesthan in the past. Stores are evolving their services in an attempt to gain millennials business. Kroger and Walmart, among others, now offer customers the option to order groceries online and then pick them up at their convenience. Customers don’t even have to get out of their cars—workers will load up their groceries for them.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact for your next research project.

Summer Travel Trends: The Who, What and Where

travel

Planning a summer getaway this year? Then you’re part of the 56% of Americans who plan to take a vacation during the upcoming summer months. We know businesses and consumers alike rely on the revenue these summer jaunts bring, so we took a closer look into Americans’ spending habits during vacation season.

WHO’S TRAVELING?

Of those who plan to take time off, 92% will go away, while 8% will stay home. For most, summer vacation means family time. 87% of married couples plan to travel together, and the same number will bring their children. Among non-married vacationers, 57% will travel with friends or family, and 24% will fly solo. According to research conducted by AP-NORC, 43% of Americans won’t be taking a vacation. The top reason for skipping a trip is the cost, according to 49% of non-vacationers. 11% aren’t able to take the time off work, and 3% said they don’t like to be away from work (these folks deserve a raise).

COST

74% of Americans will be using credit to finance their next trip. According to a study by LearnVest, the average vacationer racks up $1,108 in debt to finance their trip. Half of those surveyed expect to spend less than $1,000 total for their summer holiday, while 50% plan to spend more than $1,000. Two-thirds of the respondents reported spending more on a week-long vacation than they do on a month’s rent or mortgage.

WHERE TO?

MMGY Global’s recent study showed that domestic vacations now make up 85% of American vacations, up 7 points from last year. 53% of domestic travelers plan to visit an attraction of some sort this year. While that might bring to mind an amusement park, the research indicates the top-ranking attractions are more educational, with 65% planning to visit an art or history museum, aquariums (59%) or  science museums (56%) coming before theme parks (55%).

INTERNATIONAL TOURISM

While international tourism is growing at its fastest pace in seven years, the U.S. is experiencing its sharpest drop in foreign travelers since 2009. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2017 the number of arrivals to the U.S. from foreign countries was down 9.3% compared to 2016. The dip in tourism (perhaps caused by anti-foreigner rhetoric and immigration policies) has many travel and retail industries worried, as international travelers tend to stay longer and spend more than their domestic counterparts.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including frequent travelers, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

Move Over, Celebs—Make Way For the New Influencers

Consumers, get ready to see even more influencer marketing on your social media channels. According to a study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), 75% of advertisers surveyed currently use influencer marketing. 43% of national advertisers who already engage in influencer marketing are planning to increase their spend over the next 12 months. Even more interesting, of those who are not already using influencer marketing, 27% plan to start in the next year. While influencer marketing is here to stay, there will be a few tweaks. We examine ways influencer marketing is changing in 2018.

MICRO-INFLUENCERS

Celebrities will always influence trends on some level, but many brands are veering away from celebrities and moving toward micro-influencers who have 25,000 to 100,000 followers. While giant followings may sound enticing, they don’t always get the best results, and advertisers are realizing engagement matters more. A recent study found that consumers find micro-influencers to be more engaging and trustworthy than celebrities or personalities with more than 250,000 followers.

TRAILBLAZERS

Digital trailblazers are also increasingly popular with both brands and consumers alike. These content creators who have 1 million to 19.9 million social media followers outperform both celebrities and micro-influencers. According to a new report by Fullscreen and Sharablee, the engagement levels were 0.66% for digital trailblazers, compared to 0.40% for celebrities and 0.35% for micro-influencers.

TRUST

Fullscreen and Sharablee found that 38% of 1,200 millennials and Gen Zers ages 18-to-34 trust what influencers say about a brand more than what the brand says about itself. Trailblazers have the overall highest level of trust (45%) among their followers, exceeding micro-influencers (42%) and celebrities (29%). Of those consumers who engage with micro-influencers, 45% were likely to try their recommendation, while 30% of those who engage with digital trailblazers were likely to purchase. Consumers who engage with celebrities were the least likely to try or purchase something recommended by the influencer.

BUDGETS

A recent survey of 181 marketers reported that 86% of brands used influencer marketing in 2017; of those, 92% felt it was an effective strategy. So effective, in fact, that 39% of brands are increasing their influencer budgets in 2018, with the majority spending between $25,000 and $50,000. 35% of brands give influencers free products rather than payment.

SOCIAL PLATFORMS

According to ANA’s findings, the most popular social media channels for influencer marketing are Facebook (86%) and Instagram (84%), with Instagram ranked as the most important platform overall by 36% compared to Facebook’s 20%.
QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com

4 Ways Wendy’s Uses Social Media to Attract Consumers

Wendy’s, the third largest burger fast food chain in the world, has been around since 1969. Created by Dave Thomas, and named for his daughter, Melinda (Wendy), it was a brand that was folky and wholesome. By the 1990s, Dave had become a household name, as he had appeared in more than 800 commercials, and a survey conducted by Wendy’s in the 1990s showed that 90% of Americans knew who he was. By using enhanced technology and digital marketing, they have evolved their brand voice to show a more snarky side, which has really resonated with customers. They’ve even released a mixtape, “We Beefin”. Here are 4 examples of times Wendy’s has stepped up their social media presence to engage and attract customers.

PLAYFUL

Wendy’s manages to be self-promoting and fun. Their brand voice is clever, casual and funny, and sets them apart from the competition. This isn’t their first, or last, jab at McDonalds. In their 2018 Super Bowl ad “Iceberg”, they used copy from McDonald’s website against them (“our beef is flash frozen to seal in fresh flavor”) and urged consumers to “skip the hamburgers at the Frozen Arches”.

RESPONSIVE

Due to the internet, customers today are used to constant and instant accessibility, and Wendy’s is extremely responsive. Wendy’s responds quickly, and seriously, to customers who have complaints, and will even apologize for the delay if it takes them a while to respond.

INTERACTIVE

Carter Wilkerson, a Nevada teen, became a Twitter sensation in 2017 when he went asked Wendy’s a simple question. Wendy’s response set him on a mission, and his campaign hashtag #NuggsForCarter went viral. While he didn’t get 18 million retweets, he did get more than 3.6 million, the record for a single tweet. Wendy’s lifted the 18 million goal and gave him the nuggets anyway. Wendy’s got national exposure, for the price of a year of free nuggets.

CONSISTENT

Wendy’s posts frequently, and maintain the same voice throughout their postings. Consistency is key on social media, both in terms of what you’re posting and how often. Even when they are posting different types of content, their voice is consistent, and in line with the brand as a whole. The long-term consistency allows them to keep their audience engaged, and the momentum going.

How Weather Impacts Consumer Buying Behavior

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it means 6 more weeks of winter. While these old wives tales may seem ridiculous to some, (these people probably live in San Diego, which was voted best weather in the U.S.) the weather has a huge influence on consumer behavior, and the effects are much more extensive than the obvious rain boot and snow shovel examples. Weather affects consumers’ mood, which influences buying behavior and dictates where they purchase, what they purchase, and how much they are willing to spend.

BUYING METHOD Not surprisingly, inclement weather keeps people at home, thus hurting brick-and-mortar stores’ traffic, which is a gain for online retailers. One study found that cold or rainy days boost traffic to clothing, home, furniture and wholesale retailers by 12% compared to warm or sunny days. Conversely, on warm and sunny days, brick-and-mortar stores do more sales.

PURCHASE PRICE Whether it’s sunshine, temperature, rain or snow, weather influences consumers’ moods. A Canadian study revealed that exposure to sunlight dramatically increased levels of consumption, as well as the amount spent per item. The research showed consumers were willing to pay 37% more for green tea and 56% more for a gym membership after being exposed to sunlight. In cloudy conditions, consumers are more likely to spend more on alcohol, tobacco, and coffee.

PRODUCT DEMAND Weather prompts sales of certain products.  Aside from the obvious seasonal sales of swimwear and sunblock during the summer and coats and boots in the winter, there are other products that get more attention when the weather changes. According to a study, when temperatures hit about 65 degrees in the U.K., grocery stores see a 22% increase in the sales of carbonated drinks and a 20% decrease in juice sales. In the U.S., a one-degree drop in temperature can trigger sales of soup, oatmeal and lip balm.

USE THE WEATHER Rain or shine, it’s clear that the weather can make a difference when it comes to generating revenue, and smart companies are using this knowledge to their advantage. Pantene is one such company; by teaming up with the Weather Channel to create a campaign around products geared towards frizzy hair during humid days, they saw a sales increase of 24%.    

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

2018 Oscars: Will Women Tune In?

oscars

The 2018 awards season comes to an end this Sunday at the 90th Academy Awards. At the shows leading up to the Oscars, womens movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have been hot topics, highlighting the importance of female representation and gender equality. After the recent sexual misconduct scandals, many advertisers are betting on women tuning in to see if they will be victorious during Hollywood’s biggest night.

Last year’s broadcast was the second least-watched Oscars, and delivered record low ratings of 32.9 million viewers, with the fewest-ever number of adults in the 18-to-49 demographic (11.7 million). Despite all of this, the ad revenue rose by 9% this year, with a 30-second spot averaging about $2.4 million, with the most expensive spot at $2.6 million, an increase from the $1.9 million ABC charged last year. In recent years, a 30-second Oscar ad typically sold for between $1.8 and $2.2 million.

Many brands are hoping the investment helps them reach women, who make up 62% of the average Oscar viewership. The broadcast will air 16 commercials made specifically for the ceremony, and at least 12 brands bought airtime for spots celebrating female empowerment and inclusivity. “In addition to being the most highly viewed event that celebrates storytelling and excellence in film, the Oscars provides advertisers opportunities to engage with viewers in meaningful ways during a cultural moment they care about,” President of Advertising Rita Ferro said in a statement.

According to a new study from BBC, female-led films earn higher box office returns, despite typically lower production budgets. On average, every dollar invested in a female-led film earns back $2.12; male-led films earn back $1.59. Hidden Figures, the 2016 female-led drama, earned 6.8 times its production budget, and Ladybird, nominated for five Oscars this year, earned 4.2 times.

By all accounts, it will be quite a triumph if a woman takes home the night’s biggest awards. A film with a female perspective hasn’t won Best Picture since Million Dollar Baby in 2005; four of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture this year have a female perspective. Additionally, Greta Gerwig, director of Lady Bird, is vying to become only the second woman to win Best Director in the 90-year history of the Oscars.

We provide our clients with access to more than 20 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

Snapchat’s Got 99 Problems and Kylie Jenner’s Just One of Them

snapchat

It’s safe to say Snapchat probably wishes Kylie Jenner was still under her self-imposed social media hiatus. Last Wednesday, she tweeted to her 24.5 million followers: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Shares of Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., sank 6.1% on Thursday, costing Snap $1.3 billion (yes, billion) in market value. Can the social media platform bounce back, or are users done with it?

When Snapchat initially came on the social media scene, it was a way to send photos or videos, which after being viewed or played once, disappeared. Since then, it has changed immensely; it now lets you replay snaps an unlimited number of times, screenshot images if you want to save them, and save your own snaps to the Memories section of your account.

To say this recent redesign has users upset is an understatement. 1.2 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking Snapchat to revert to the old version. Common complaints are difficulty finding friends and rewatching Stories, and the Discover page, which has been replaced with featured and sponsored content. One reason why Jenner may be unhappy with the update is because it implements an algorithm to create a division between content from friends and content from publishers and celebrities, leading fewer people to see her posts. Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, Inc., responded to the backlash saying, “…one of the complaints we got was, ‘Wow, I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore.’ And we’re like, ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend!’ …”

Snapchat isn’t the first social media company to upset users. When Instagram changed its logo two years ago from the classic polaroid-inspired icon to its current prismatic, abstract logo, it was largely panned by users and critics alike. Facebook encountered similar backlash when they unveiled the News Feed, leading CEO Mark Zuckerberg to draft a blog post titled “Calm Down. Breathe. We Hear You.”  

Despite the complaints, the re-design’s rollout lead to a surge in the U.S. app store charts. It went from No. 7 to No. 2 in the days after the re-design’s debut. Snapchat is making a big bet that users want to hear more from their friends than celebrities or brands (an algorithm both Facebook and Instagram have incorporated as well). And it will be interesting to see if the gamble pays off.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 20 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

Blockchain: 4 Ways it Benefits Consumers

Blockchain, a digital record of all activity related to a product or service, is predicted to change retail in the same way online shopping did. The technology was originally designed for digital currency like bitcoin, and because of its effectiveness, found its way into other areas of the digital world. The beauty of blockchain is that it is shared and doesn’t sit in one database for hackers to access. According to a study conducted by HSBC, 59% of consumers said they’d never heard of blockchain technology, and 80% of those who had heard of it didn’t understand what it is. Never fear—we’re going to break it down for you while we explore 4 ways consumers will benefit from Blockchain.

PRODUCT AUTHENTICATION: Counterfeit goods have plagued manufacturers and consumers alike; pharmaceutical companies lose around $200 billion/year due to counterfeit drugs, and nearly 1,400 adverse reactions related to counterfeit drugs have been reported since 2014. Blockchain’s digital ledger record creates a chain-of-custody log that tracks every step of the supply chain process. The company can then provide the consumer with a complete product history, from production line to their purchase, therefore providing certainty in its authenticity. Additionally, goods can be certified, which means that stolen merchandise can be more easily reported.

SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY: Brand transparency, trust, and ethics are imperative for today’s consumers. In fact, according to one study, complete brand transparency can produce lifelong customers.  Additionally, many consumers make purchasing decisions based on the environmental and social responsibility of a company. Blockchain provides a picture of the supply chain network, in real time, and allows producers to track raw materials from the moment they enter the supply chain until the finished product ships to the consumer.  

PRODUCT TRANSPARENCY: A recent study shows that 54% of consumers want as much information about their products as possible,from where their meat is raised to conditions at the factory where their clothes are sewn. Blockchain allows consumers to gain the transparency they need in their purchases. Consumers can verify the entire life-cycle of a product, and companies have no way to manipulate it.

WARRANTY MANAGEMENT: Blockchain takes the hassle out of warranty management for both the consumer and manufacturer. By providing consumer goods companies with a record of every item on which a warranty has been offered, it can even predict the potential for future costs. Blockchain provides consumers with a simple way to track, maintain, transfer, and make claims on their warranties.

 

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

How the Smart Speaker is Revolutionizing the Home

2017 was predicted to be the year of the smart home, and consumers are slowly integrating the new technology into their homes. With smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the soon-to-be-released Apple HomePod, consumers have many options when it comes to a digital voice assistant, and the ability to optimize and control lighting, heating, energy consumption, electronic devices and security features. Currently, 16.3% of Americans live in a smart home, and that number is expected to increase to 35.6% by 2021.

We polled over 450 respondents from our consumer panel to gauge their thoughts on the smart home. 56% of those polled feel digital voice assistant devices (such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomePod) will have an impact on society in the same way the iPhone has, but only 25% own one. 19% are considering purchasing one, while 60% do not feel they need a digital assistant.

Consumers have apprehension regarding the technology. 60% feel a digital assistant isn’t a beneficial addition to their household, 15% do not like the idea of a device always listening, and 6% are worried hackers could access their personal information. In fact, 55% of consumers are concerned implementing these devices into their household could lead to invasion of privacy.

There have been reports that brick and mortar retail is declining, and our data supports that theory, with only 23% of our respondents purchasing their device in-store. The Google Home was the most popular digital voice assistant (46%), followed closely by Amazon Echo (40%) and the Microsoft Cortana Invoke (7%). As for their decision to purchase a digital assistant? Consumers are hoping a digital assistant will make their life easier (46%), and 38% just think it’s a cool device. Our respondents primarily use their digital assistant to play music (15%) get the weather report (12%), create reminders for themselves (11%), or search online (9%).

46% of consumers are planning to use digital assistant devices to convert their house into a smart home in 2018, by linking up their television (23%), lighting (19%), smart speakers (16%), thermostat (14%), security camera (13%) or kitchen appliances (11%). Move over, smartphone—62% of consumers are using their smartphone less frequently after purchasing a digital voice assistant.

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