Lower Income Shoppers at Safeway by John Wright #TMRE #MRX


Live blogs by @LoveStats! This is a session summary from The Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques. ***                                                                                                          ***

Safeway’s Approach to the Lower Income Shopper, John Wright, Director, Consumer Insights, Safeway

  • Cannot apply the CPG model to a grocery store
  • Skews a bit higher income, which means sometimes higher ups want to focus on higher income people. But the grocery store is still a gen pop store. They love everyone’s grocery dollars.
  • Smaller households, older, not employed, lower education, smaller county sizes is the macro view of the population. There are still segments and micro-segments.
  • A lot of 65+, some families, some hispanics, under 35 are some of the segments

    Example of an American grocery store aisle.

    Image via Wikipedia

  • Financial worries are high70% live from paycheque to paycheque
  • Put yourself in your shoppers shoes, put management in the lower income group, Many worry about having enough food to put on the table. If price of gas goes up, that’s food money out of their pocket.
  • Eating patterns – Lots of trade offs, they ask trade off questions because everything is deemed to be important – taste, price, nutrition. Nutrition is at the bottom of the list, price at the top.
  • What do they eat – less likely to find salad, omelet, yogurt, fresh fruit. More likely to eat bacon, meat, chips, pop, bottled water, pasta
  • Attitudes – they know it’s not healthy, they know they need more vitamins, iron, etc. Signs don’t help, they know.
  •  Lifestyle – skews to computer games, TV, music, talking on phone, doing nothing. Less health club, biking, attending sporting event, gardening, home improvement
  • Spend less per trip, but they make more trips. Some related to paycheques. Communication needs to reflect this. Big on circulars.
  • They plan out meals, particularly families. Circulars help do this, also drive list behaviour. They shop multiple stores, in bulk, store brands, stick to the list, stay in budget. They don’t like cooking but they do cook from scratch because it’s cheaper. This is why they don’t eat as healthy, they believe it’s cheaper not to.
  • Incomes are less stable. Not proactive around health. Prioritize other things over health. Heavily into deal seeking.
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