Consumers Fall Short Of Aspiration To Buy Sustainably Sourced Products


Portland, OR — One of the largest gaps between shopper aspirations and shopper realities is in the area of sustainability, where 42 percent of shoppers aspire to shop for sustainably sourced products but only 5 percent do this in reality, according to a new report from InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm.

The study examines shopper behavior, looking at the gap between what consumers desire (their aspirations) and what they actually purchase when in store. The company says the whitespace between consumer desire and consumer action is a place for companies to focus product innovation.

Dave Lundahl, CEO & founder at InsightsNow, says: “This study is unique in that we have created a new way to identify opportunities for companies to create whitespace for brand and product innovation, as well as a new way to identify consumer targets for brands and respectively impactful brand promises for identified consumer targets.”

The study used a reaction-based mobile research approach where participants were provided a list of key aspirational characteristics about the foods they would buy, and asked what they actually do in real-life shopping experiences. Shoppers answered for overall shopping moment and specific moments they qualified for based on past category purchase.

Ten aspirational shopping areas were identified: nutrition, ethics, enjoyment, convenience, clean label, safety, sustainability, restricted diet, quality and price/value. In addition to purchase behavior motivations, the study looked at the tradeoffs people are making between their buying ideals and what’s currently plausible for them.

When it came to price value, 68 percent of shoppers aspire to the theme, but only 38 percent are able to shop that way in reality. In addition, 30 percent of U.S. shoppers are seeking high protein foods as they aspire to nutritional goals, and only 14 percent of this shopping group are not achieving their aspiration to buy high protein foods.