You need to know who buys your product - SKUFood
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You need to know who buys your product

You need to know who buys your product

It is your responsibility to understand the people who buy your product. This can change over time and we know consumers are changing faster than ever.

We will take the first 10 weeks of the year to dive into our 2024 trends. We want to provide you with as much context to determine where to focus the efforts of your business. Everyone has a limited amount of resources and dollars so it is important to consider the best return for your investments.

2024 Trends

7. Get laser focused on your target market consumer

Consumers have changed a lot in the last few years. You should have an accurate description of who is the most likely consumer to buy your product. This will ensure you get the best return on investment from your promotion plans. When you are focused on this you can tell your customer who will be picking up the product in their store, and most likely to be a critical repeat buyer.

Consider the changes in consumers

1. Food inflation

This has put significantly more focus on price and promotions. We see package sizes changing and a shift to private label. All of this noise in the market has probably impacted your target market consumer. Perhaps they are more value focused or you need to remind them of continuing to enjoy some of the small indulgences.

2. Working from home

Many people are still working a few days from home. This changes shopping habits and increases the chance they might want breakfast or lunch at home. If you are in the snack aisle you might want to suggest your product is great for that afternoon break right out of the cupboard. It does not have to be a single serve size.

3. Millennials (people 28-43) are cooking more at home

This change started during the pandemic. These were the people who were eating out the most but that all changed when they were forced to cook more at home. Many have returned to restaurants but not to the degree it was prior to 2020.

4. Generation Z (people 12-27) are now bringing significant buying power

The next generation, who have lived their entire life with the Internet, are now going out on their own and getting jobs. They research differently and appear to be less brand loyal.

5. Food service rebound

During the pandemic food service was decimated as restaurants and other offerings were closed or very limited. Many tried more take out and ready to eat options, but it was a huge challenge. Food service as a percentage of total food has returned to pre pandemic levels but the mix is different. We lost independents so chains are doing more volume.

6. Online shopping for food is more popular

The pandemic forced this change and although it is not as high as it was there is still a lot of food being purchased online. Generation Z and millennials are influencing this consumer behaviour. Many large retailers reported increases in online sales in the fourth quarter.

7. The Canadian population is changing

You just have to spend time in the stores to see how much the population is changing. Immigration has been at all time high numbers in the last two years. With close to 500,000 new people coming into the country the last two years there are new opportunities and many different tastes to satisfy.

Consider how all of this impacts you

You should take the time each year to really make sure you know who your target market consumers are. When you look at the 7 items on our list there are a lot of changes. Perhaps your consumer is still consistent but even the other people shopping in the category might have changed.

Some considerations when you do have that concise definition of who is most likely to buy your product:

Are the flavours you have correct? This is one area where we see a lot of change. If your competition is appealing to more new Canadians your sales might decline just because the growth in the category is in the ‘new’ flavours.

I your package size correct? With the focus on retail pricing and value it is important to be right in the category. We hear about regulatory changes coming for front of package so it might be time to re design your packaging which could include a size change.

Your target market impacts the best place in the store for your products. Natural food sections have been popular but we hear some of these might get integrated into the regular sections as these products are less niche than they once were. When you know who will buy your product you will know the best place to find them in the store.

Consumer shows are more popular than ever. Many brands are using these as opportunities to increase awareness, generate trial, build their brand and sell direct. You have to know who your people are before you can decide which shows are right for you.

Your target market has a huge impact on your promotion strategy. This includes trade spend and marketing spend. When you are deciding where to invest in the store are your people more likely to respond to a cents off promotion or loyalty? With marketing spend the obvious conversation is where will you find them on social media but there are other considerations too such as sponsorships or direct mail.

Talk to your customer about this too

Each retailer and even each banner have specific types of consumers who shop the store. Talk to your customers about your target market and illustrate you know who is most likely to buy. Perhaps they might have opportunities on ads targeted at health-conscious consumers or people looking for local products.

When you can show the retailer you have taken the time to define the consumers who will buy it sends the right message. They see you as understanding it is your job to sell the great product you produce.


SKUFood Recipes for Success Podcast

We are super excited to announce we have launched our SKUFood Recipes for Success podcast. We have been working on this project for a while and it is finally ready to share with all of you. Our intention is to share the stories of food businesses and others in the value chain while also providing insights that are interesting and helpful to people in the food and beverage industry.

We are fortunate to receive the support of FCC to make this happen. If you would like to be a guest on SKUFood Recipes for Success just let us know. Huge thanks to Susan Sipos for making this happen. I have the easy job, I just show up and talk to people!

Listen and subscribe where ever you get your podcasts.

Where is Peter Speaking?

The grocery code of conduct stays in the news, we agree that everyone needs to sign on to validate the mandate of the agreement.

We are excited to be working on this program with Food and Beverage Manitoba. Retailer's local programs are great opportunities for processors who can take advantage of their space on the shelf. This virtual and in-person program will help processors implement processes to maximize the opportunity they get in the store.