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Industry Viewpoint: What’s the consumer buzz in 2022?

By
Amanda Keefer, managing director of Healthy Family Project

As we forge ahead into the latter half of 2022, the buzz words surfacing with Healthy Family Project’s consumer audience are consistent around cost-savings, budget hacks, meal planning, food waste, trust, social impact and local grown. 

2022 has us all looking at new and creative ways to do business and has forced shoppers to look at new ways of shopping on a budget. Not unlike the past two years, but in a different context.

healthy family project logoBudgeting and meal planning
While budgeting and meal planning have always been atop on Healthy Family Project’s followers list of topics of interest, these areas of interest took on a new life facing inflation in 2022. While USDA Consumer Price Index shows fresh vegetable category at a mere 1.1 percent increase, shoppers are feeling the affect in their overall grocery trip spend. For families to continue to stick to their weekly grocery budget, it has been necessary to map out the week of meals. Families are being strategic on the food they are planning to consume in the upcoming week ahead. 

Families are making multiple trips or placing multiple online orders each week as opposed to one big weekend shopping trip.

Personally, I know our family has shifted to this shopping scenario. It helps ensure we aren’t wasting or buying unnecessary items.

Both trends mean an increased need for content around how to meal plan and recipes that are quick with few ingredients that can be made on a busy weekday.

Food waste
Shoppers have been increasingly more interested in doing their part to eliminate food waste from a global “do good” standpoint, but 2022 has forced shoppers to look at food waste as a cost savings as well. It’s important that we are providing resources to consumers, so they know exactly how to use the entire fruit and vegetable, what is freezable for later consumption and how to use ingredients in new and interesting ways. Consumers can make an impact in the large percentage of food wasted each year and save money. Maybe an Inflation perk of sorts (if there is one) that a new focus on food waste can cut into the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted each year.

Local grown
It’s no surprise there is often a dollar amount that must be added to produce traveling a further distance to reach the local produce department. Shoppers are more interested in learning what’s in season and of course paying attention to that “local grown” sticker allowing them to cut costs and support their local growers.

Increased influence of shoppers
Shoppers are increasingly looking to other shoppers to make purchase decisions. This is evident in the spike of grocery specific Facebook groups and social media channels established by shoppers and not the actual grocer. Two examples of this would be the Aldi Aisle of Shame on Facebook and Trader Joe Finds on Instagram. The Healthy Family Project Facebook group is full of conversation around product recommendations and reviews. An item doesn’t have to be reviewed by a big-time influencer; it just needs to be validated by a fellow shopper.

Social impact
While keeping their budget in mind, shoppers care more about fair wages for farmers, hunger, food deserts, and your company’s overall social impact.

2022 is the year to tell your brand’s story. Forge a real relationship with your shoppers and let them know you understand their needs by asking questions, putting transparency first and showcasing your story. 

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