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Food consumer preferences in the age of technology

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Consumers Prioritize Convenience and Packaging

According to the Report from Good Natured, 72% of the American adults surveyed for the report said they’ve been regularly buying ready-to-eat meals because of convenienc (70%), time savings (40%), and cost savings (21%). Apart from freshness which was the most important consideration for 73% of respondents, packaging plays a significant role in the foods they buy as well. 86% said being able to see through the packaging to determine what the product looks like would make them more likely to buy it and 77% of consumers also said they consider sustainable packaging important, and more than 40% felt it was the company’s responsibility for offering eco-friendly food packaging for their products.


Do Consumers Pay More for Fresh Food?

According to new research from Deloitte, despite the elevating prices, 68% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fresh food, an increase of 7% from last year. Deloitte’s research shows that consumers would pay an average of 28% more for fresh food over alternatives like canned, frozen, or processed food.
What food consumers buy is heavily affected by cost — 93% of consumers say price is a significant factor in their fresh food purchasing decisions. However, many consumers deal with the cost because they see wellness and nutritional value in fresh foods. About 90% of consumers say fresh food makes them happy, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and aids weight loss. Meanwhile, other purchase drivers declined in importance this year, including only 54% and 47% of consumers listed non-GMO and organic respectively as important factors in their fresh food purchasing decisions, which is reduced compared to last year. 
Moreover, nearly 90% of surveyed consumers said food safety is of the utmost importance, and 50%, 44%, and 36% of consumers check expiration dates, inspect their food, and store food as recommended, respectively. 37% of consumers also trust the supermarket to provide safe food, but fewer (30%) trust brands. Also, almost 40% of consumers want detailed data on how their fresh food purchases move from farm to store. 

What are the Gen Z preferences in Buying Groceries?

Almost half (48%) of Gen Z adults are the primary grocery shoppers for their household, according to new research from Morning Consult. So, focusing on a deeper understanding of Gen Z’s shopping behaviors will help brands build loyalty as this generation ages. Moreover, Gen Z are more likely to shop online and less concerned about food costs than primary shoppers. This is probably because Gen Z is buying for smaller households rather than larger ones, lowering the impact of inflation on their purchases.

 The Evolving Value of QR Codes for Elevating Customer Experience

A recent CMSWire survey found that product reviews are migrating beyond online stores and heading to the physical shelf. Recently, most retailers plan to implement product information and content management systems (CMS), both of which can share product information with in-store shoppers, giving consumers more access to the social proof element (ratings and reviews). 

The value of UGC

User-generated content (UGC) refers to all content a product user creates, like Q&As, social posts, ratings, and reviews. While historically B2C brands used UGC as a marketing tactic, B2B companies have noted its potential to drive more interest. This content type helps build trust, with 76% of customers purchasing a product based on a recommendation because they believe more in customer testimonials than brands speaking for themselves. 
In-store shoppers want access to the same product information and insights available on website product pages, from detailed descriptions to user-generated ratings and reviews. In fact, 84% of respondents said they trust brands using UGC more than brands that don’t. 

Dynamic QR codes 

The uses for QR codes are limited only by the imagination, connecting customers to a brand’s website, enabling them to exchange contact information, connecting shoppers to UGC, including customer reviews and feedback, allowing visitors to connect to WiFi without entering passwords, and so much more. It is predicted that over 99 million Americans will use a smartphone to scan QR codes by 2025. Marketers must capitalize on this opportunity by adding QR codes to product packaging. 
“Smart” packaging and embedding QR codes enhance the customer experience and engagement by empowering them to learn more about a product’s content, participate in customer loyalty programs, take advantage of discounts and coupons, and access product-related videos and instructions.

Considering consumer preferences, especially Gene Z, updating products and their packaging according to customer tastes and new technologies such as adding QR codes, access to user-generated content (UGC), and any changes that improve the consumer's experience, and make it more convenient, increases consumer trust in the brand and drives more conversions. 





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