5 Consumer Behaviors Inspiring Brand Innovation in 2021

Consumer sentiment now hinges on product availability more than price, and 53% of shoppers say they stock up on consumer packaged goods at the grocery store to prepare for pandemic shutdowns or restrictions. Three out of four consumers tried different brands or new ways of shopping during the pandemic, and innovative CPG and grocery brands are boosting brand equity by offering options to shop online and improving product availability through digital transformation. 


Food Trends


Sources: AcostaDynataConsumer Brand AssociationMcKinsey 

Six out of 10 shoppers are buying immunity boosting products and 77% of consumers say they want to adopt healthier habits. Personalized wellness apps, label transparency, local sourcing and sustainable packaging are gaining traction with consumers.  


Healty Food Trends


Sources: Innova Market InsightsWholeFoods Trends CouncilNielsen,  International Food Information Council 

Over half of Americans are cooking more meals at home, and expect to dine at home more often even after the pandemic. During 2020, 44% of home cooks discovered a new recipe and 35% of consumers discovered a new passion for cooking. Innovative brands are interacting with people through direct-to consumer (DTC) sales, shoppable recipes and online cooking and mixology classes. 


Food Trends 2021


Sources: AcostaWholeFoods Trends CouncilNielsenOnePoll 

Six out of 10 consumers feel nostalgic about food and drinks from their childhood and 72% of people say food is their favorite way to connect with loved ones. Beloved brands are creating multi-generational connections by stirring up nostalgic memories and humor from the 70s, 80s and 90s. 


Food Trends 2021


Sources: FONA International, NielsenOnePoll 

Retailers and brands are transforming the customer shopping experience with visible cleaning routines, ‘in and out’ floor plans,  and convenient mobile-friendly food and alcohol apps for home delivery, curbside pick-up or options to buy online/pick-up in store (BOPIS).  Eight out of 10 consumers have now purchased groceries online, and the Ready to Drink (RTD) category is expected to grow 52% by 2022 as more grocery store shoppers seek more fun and convenient ways to dine at home. 


Food Trends 2021


Sources: Washington PostSupermarket NewsNielsen 


How to inspire innovation with consumer research Consumer lifestyles and values normally shift incrementally over a number of years, but the pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behavior. Quantitative market research can give brands, retailers and manufacturers actionable consumer insights to optimize the rate of return on their marketing investment.  

Benchmarking and Competitor Analysis provides real-time and historic data to optimize strategies, products, packaging and marketing communications plans. 

Consumer Attitude and Usage Studies (A&U) explain how, when and where people use products; define the perceptions and attitudes that motivate consumers to buy (or not buy) a product. 

Packaging Research uses a variety of different consumer surveys and statistical techniques to optimize package design, structure, and shelf placement to appeal to the right people. 

Segmentation & Message Testing provide actionable consumer insights to create meaningful connections between brands and the right target audiences. Insights In Marketing is the marketing research firm that delivers in-depth and actionable insights so you can have every confidence your decisions are inspired by the consumer voice. Our team has decades of client and supplier side research experience, and our marketing expertise spans across various industries and consumer segments. 

Looking to boost your brand’s consumer sentiment through innovation?