Chicago — Consumers are purchasing more natural products this year, both pre-COVID-19 and during the pandemic, according to research from IRI and SPINS.
“Dollar sales for natural products continue to grow over one year ago, as much as an astounding 78 percent in the middle of March during consumers’ initial stock-up period and continuing in the high teens at present,” says Steve Ramsey, executive vice-president and general manager, strategic accounts at IRI. “Given that natural products represent more than 8 percent of total store sales year-to-date and are outpacing sales of conventional products, there are significant opportunities for manufacturers and retailers alike to show support for consumers.”
The research found that during the pandemic, shoppers ”doubled down,” widen product preferences through strategies such as seeking and avoiding various ingredients, according to IRI.
While consumer picked up natural products at an accelerated pace, there have been changes in this market. This is particularly true for channel selection, with ecommerce becoming a major factor. Research indicates that year on year, ecommerce grew natural product trips per buyer by 27 percent, while other channels exhibited slow or negative growth.
IRI and SPINS offers the following tips to capture interest in natural products:
- Reinforce a commitment to current shoppers by digging into their engagement with natural foods and developing strategies to maintain loyalty and increase basket share.
- Pinpoint potential new buyers and search for a deeper understanding of their behaviors. Follow this up with a conversion strategy and actively engage them with targeted marketing.
- Continue to refine channel strategies to reflect shifts in the market that impact both brick-and-mortar outlets as well as online sales.