Media, price affect holiday grocery shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Holiday grocery shoppers are turning to a variety of media sources.

A new survey reveals what types of media are most influential in holiday shoppers’ grocery purchases.

According to the Consumer Sentiment Survey from CPG advertising company NCSolutions, among the 47% of surveyed U.S. consumers who say they enjoy watching holiday advertising, almost half (47%) say they will turn to culinary websites for cooking inspiration. In addition, 39% say they will turn to social media, 35% how-to videos, and 31% television.

Among respondents who find it helpful to see ads from brands they've purchased before, 56% turn to cooking websites for inspiration. These respondents also look to social media (48%), how-to videos (43%), and television (35%) for inspiration. Overall, holiday advertising will play a key role in inspiring 27% of respondents to cook more, and 31% indicate it will help them to discover new products.

Respondents who say meat substitutes are important for the holidays are more likely to find inspiration from cooking websites, social media, how-to videos and TV. Meanwhile, 54% of respondents who prefer unprocessed foods are the most likely to turn to cooking websites for inspiration.

Vegan shoppers also are likely to turn to cooking websites for their holiday inspiration. And respondents who say organic, sustainable, plant-based or vegan food items are important to them are more likely to tune into a podcast for holiday cooking ideas.

Respondents who shop at wholesale club retailers are also more likely to seek out plant-based and healthier options for their table this holiday season, with 50% searching for healthy foods, 33% for organic food, and 28% for sustainable foods for their holiday recipes.

In addition, respondents who shop at wholesale clubs are even more likely to enjoy holiday ads (58%). Respondents who say they're going to do their holiday food shopping online or in wholesale clubs are more likely to turn to cooking websites, social media, and how-to videos for cooking inspiration.

[Read more: Online grocery adoption grows]

Other interesting findings include:

  • One in four respondents plan to do their holiday grocery shopping early, while 19% plan to increase their holiday grocery shopping at different retailers.
  • 38% of respondents plan to purchase their preferred consumer packaged goods brands. However, nearly half of respondents (48%) plan to substitute their preferred brands for less expensive or more available alternatives. For instance, 31% plan to substitute their preferred brands for less expensive brands, while 17% plan to buy another brand if their preferred brand is not available at the store.

"Inflation and price competitiveness are creating a unique dynamic in the marketplace right now. Shoppers want their dollars to go as far as possible, but they also highly value their favorite brands and lean towards being loyal," said Linda Dupree, CEO, NCS. "Holiday advertising is a smart lever to pull in this environment. It has the power to inspire cooking ideas, help us grow by learning new recipes, and enable us to discover new products. CPG brands really have the power to help put us in the right mood for the season.

"From our survey, we know that nearly half of Americans enjoy holiday food advertising," Dupree said. "This is quite significant given the impact of the holiday season on overall CPG spending throughout the year."

NCSolutions fielded an online survey Nov. 5-8, 2021, among 1,130 respondents, ages 18 and up, with the results weighted to be representative of the overall U.S. population.