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Going to the Next Level of Understanding Shopper Needs

May 31, 2011

There have been plenty of studies on the importance of supermarkets winning back meals each week. But, in The Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council study Eating In you will find a lot of practical ways to do it. This newest study shows food retailers how to put a deeper understanding of shopper “need states” to work in winning meals to be eaten at home.

The NPD Group www.npdgroup.com authored-study takes need states down to meal occasions; i.e. the needs that households want to satisfy during different types of meals. There are actually more meal occasions than you may think; the study defined seven specific meal occasions and that is just for dinner including:

  • Last-minute no-brainers
  • Thrifty repeats
  • Tasty creations
  • Nourishing fare
  • Kid’s delights
  • Family entertaining
  • Hearty fare

I think the power of using need states becomes even clearer when you look at building promotions targeting the most common dinner occasion; i.e. last-minute no-brainers.

Turns out consumers know that when members of their households are in this need state they:

  • Are hungry and want something fast
  • It can be simple, but must be easily at hand
  • May be eating alone or just earlier or later than the rest of the family
  • Are more interested in finishing than enjoying the meal
  • Are more likely to be eating this way on weekends

When you look at upside potential for all the dinner need states, it adds up. For a food retailer doing $500,000/week in a store, it’s worth more than $5,100/week.

Bill Bishop
Research Director
NACS/Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council
Founder, Willard Bishop Consulting and Chief Architect ClickMeetsBrick http://www.brickmeetsclick.com