Do as I Say, Not as I Do; ‘Sustainable’ Shoppers Add 40% More Meat to the Basket

Contrary consumption patterns uncovered by dunnhumby Beyond prove the importance of retailers taking a 360-degree view of the socially conscious shopper

The latest research from dunnhumby, the customer data science leader, reveals over half of shoppers (56%) claim they “want to be more self-sufficient in food’’, reducing the environmental impact of what they consume.  Meat production is known to be one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gases, yet remarkably 40% of these consumers still spend more on meat products than they do on fruit and vegetables.

These insights are some of the first to be published by dunnhumby Beyond, a unique shopper insights solution that coalesces opinion data, behavioural data and sales data from over one million UK transactions in the UK’s leading grocers to date, to create an unrivalled view of the contemporary shopper.

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In particular, brands and retailers are now able to observe discrepancies between the products consumers aspire to buy, and what they actually purchase. For example, 56% of shoppers claim a healthy diet comprising of plenty of fruit and vegetables is important to them and while many adhere to this in what they buy, there are many who do not.

In fact, almost half spend 1.5X more on unhealthy foods including chips, burgers and pizza – equating to £28.50 in every £100 of their grocery bill.

Guillaume Bacuvier, CEO of dunnhumby comments, “Prior to the development of dunnhumby Beyond, if a UK brand wanted to access shopper insight relating to retail shopping activity to inform their business planning, they tended to approach a host of data suppliers to try and build a true view of the full market. With Beyond now available in the UK, we can offer a single source of data connected at an individual shopper level, providing a complete view of shopper’s cross-grocery retailer shopping activity, online behaviour, lifestyle and attitudes.”

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Sense and sustainability

From the Extinction Rebellion to a ban on single-use plastic bottles at Glastonbury, this year has seen several high-profile media moments that have moved sustainability up the national agenda. As such, 58% of shoppers now state that they “throw away less food than they did last year”, reflecting a positive step towards greener living.

However, tackling areas of sustainable living such as recycling are not necessarily quick fixes. dunnhumby Beyond reveals that over three quarters of people age 55+ say they use and purchase less plastic than one year ago, but of these, 75% still buy plastic items such as plastic carrier bags and plastic water bottles.

Generationally, the problem becomes more acute among millennials, of whom 60% say they use and purchase less plastic than one year ago, but 80% are still buying plastic items such as plastic carrier bags and plastic water bottles, so there is more that can be done to educate and help this group, educing

“The insights dunnhumby Beyond gleans can highlight the changes people find the hardest to make, helping brands prioritise certain products and initiatives”, explains Guillaume Bacuvier. “The brands that take action to bridge the gap between what people want to do versus choices available are those that will win in the long term’’.

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