Innovation

Consumers Speak Up About Environmental Products, Private Labels and More

New survey reveals shoppers' habits, quirks and preferences

Written by Melissa Campeau

Canadian consumers remain skeptical about environmental claims, have a fondness for new products and love their printed flyers. These are some of the findings in a new BrandSpark study of shoppers, analyzing the habits, quirks and preferences of 103,000 consumers.

When it comes to products making “green” or “environmentally friendly” claims, Canadians are skeptical: A full 60% believe these claims are often exaggerated or misleading. When claims are believable, Canadians like the notion of green products but not the added cost. Only 40% of Canadians say they’re willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products. More than 70% appreciate when manufacturers cover the costs of production and offer environmental benefits without increased costs.

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House-brand products are a hit with the majority of shoppers. More than 60% of Canadians believe house-branded products are good value for the money, with 90% of Canadians purchasing store brands instead of name brands in the past year. Products in the food and beverage category are the most popular private-label items. More than 50% of Canadians regularly buy store-brand dry food, frozen vegetables and bottled water. Health and beauty products inspire a stronger sense of brand loyalty in Canadians, though, with more than 30% of shoppers stating they would never purchase private-label deodorant or makeup.

Canadians are quite willing to try new products, particularly if they see them as an improvement over existing ones. In fact, 67% of Canadians say they’re willing to pay more for a new product if it’s better than what’s currently available. And they believe research and development is key for new product innovation. Of those surveyed, 64% feel “new” really does mean improved for health products, 59% say the same holds true for household care items, 57% for personal care items and 57% for food products.

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Even though Canadians embrace new products, they’re slower to change how they shop. Nearly 47% of Canadian shoppers own a smartphone but the majority, more than 80%, still uses a hand-written shopping list. Change is coming, though, with 30% of shoppers aged 18 to 34 saying they store shopping lists on their phone regularly or occasionally.

Despite most Canadians’ ability to access sale information online, more than 80% of Canadians say print flyers influence which items make it onto their shopping lists. In fact, more than 90% of Canadians read them regularly or occasionally. Online versions are becoming more popular, though: 26% of Canadians regularly read digital grocery store flyers. Among shoppers reading both print and digital flyers, however, 71% still prefer the print format.

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Nearly 47% of Canadians own a smartphone (up from 37% in 2012). Of shoppers with a smartphone, 37% report using it to look up product information while in store and 22% search for product reviews on the spot. They’re acting on that information, too, with 40% saying they’ve made a different purchase decision because of their in-store research.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com