While you know that understanding the eating habits of your customers is vital to the success of your business, gauging how Americans eat means more than just keeping track of what menu items are selling.
Super market trends can also be a critical source of data, but it’s not so much what people are buying—though this, too, gives insight into the habits of your customers— as much as who is doing the buying hat you really need to be aware of. Luckily, Gallup has your back.
Every year the consulting firm conducts a survey that offers a comprehensive look at America’s spending habits, and their findings can be surprising.
Who is the biggest spender?
If you’ve been spending your marketing budget trying to reach a certain age group or a particular income bracket, you may not be reaching your best customer.
According to the Gallup poll, the people who are spending the largest amounts of money at the supermarket are those with children under 18. It doesn’t matter how old your customers are or how much money they make, if they have kids still living at home, they are spending an average of $29 more per day than their childless or empty-nest counterparts. As you would imagine, the more children an individual cares for, the more this figure goes up, and the parents with young children just became your best customer.
What does this mean for me?
You can follow all of the supermarket trends you want, but if you aren’t paying attention to your most profitable customer, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. So what can you do to your product to make it appealing to parents?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Bright Colors. Even though some parents are very disciplined and always stick to the shopping list, many of them will take their child’s opinions to heart. And how do kids know what they want? By seeing it, of course. Make sure your packaging will catch the eye of the younger audience. They don’t care if an item is gluten free or low fat, they just want to know it is delicious and fun to eat.
- Healthy Ingredients. The packaging may get the kid's attention but it’s what inside that matters to the parents. Moms and dads today are much more aware of what they are putting into their children’s bodies. Highlight features that parents want, such as whole grains, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, etc. If your product doesn’t have any of these qualities, you may want to tweak your formula to become a go-to choice for moms and dads everywhere.
- Easy to Prepare. Parents today are busier than ever. Yes, they want their kids to be healthy, but they also want the cooking process to be as fast and easy as possible. Grab and go items are ideal for lunchboxes and weekends out, while ready-made dinners (as long as they contain some health benefits) are a staple for working parents. If you can hone in on these categories, you are golden.
- Great Taste. While all of the above is important, none of it matters if your product doesn’t taste delicious. For this reason, it is always a wise idea to have samples of your product available. If you have kids yourself or have ever watched how a family with children navigates a grocery store, you know that they are constantly asking for various food items. Sure, you can entice them with your packaging, but imagine how much more persuasive your product could be if shoppers were actually able to try it first.
Now that you know that people with children under the age of 18 are spending the most money when they are out and about, you can better tweak both your marketing strategy and your products’ formulas to appeal to this market. Regardless of supermarket trends, you want to be where the money is, and that is with parents. Keep them in mind and you are sure to have success.