Writing in the November issue of Nielsen’s “Consumer Insight” online newsletter, Todd Hale, Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen, highlights one notable exception to this trend: at-home gourmands, who not only shop more frequently than the average household, but also spend more at club, grocery, drug, and dollar stores.
According to Nielsen, one-third of U.S. households consume a gourmet meal frequently or occasionally, with 83% of those meals eaten in restaurants, 37% at home, and 22% at the homes of friends or relatives.
These food connoisseurs shop specialty kitchen stores (16%), use professional cookware and subscribe to a cooking or gourmet magazine (15%), own professional grade appliances (11%), and patronize gourmet stores (10%), Hale notes.
Foodie households also spend 20% more at club stores, 17% more at grocery, 15% more at drug, and 11% more at dollar stores than all other households. They are not, however, big spenders at mass merchandisers, where they under-spend the average household by 11%, or at mass supercenters, where they spend 5% less.
Food is not the only palate-pleasing provision favored by gourmets, according to Hale. They spend 66% more than other households at liquor stores and 66% more on alcoholic beverages. Gourmet cook households also spend 16% more than other households at hardware/home improvement outlets, 15% more online and at office supply stores, and 13% more at electronics stores.
Not surprisingly, foodies are not big fans of highly prepared frozen foods. Instead, they prefer fresh produce, spending 31% more than other households on fresh fruits and vegetables, Hale notes. These amateur food aficionados also spend 105% more than non-gourmet cook households on wine, 51% more on liquor, 46% more on spices, seasonings and extracts, 41% more on shortening and oils, 40% more on snacks, spreads, dairy dips, gift cards and party needs, 34% more on butter and margarine, and 31% more on fresh produce.
Despite the currently constrained financial conditions, gourmet-cook households refuse to sacrifice quality, choosing instead to economize by buying larger size packages (27% more likely than other U.S. households) and clipping coupons (13% more likely).
To reduce expenses in these belt-tightening times, gourmet cooks also shop at club stores (31% more likely than other households), buy online (26% more likely), and take public transportation (49% more likely).
What's the best way to attract consumers from these big spending gourmet households?
-Stock locally sourced foods that optimize freshness and taste.
-Maintain a carefully balanced assortment of products.
-Incorporate multimedia and online marketing tools that highlight the sensory appeals of gourmet products: color, movement, and sound.
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