Healthy Living Report 2017 [Part 2]

We present you with Part 2 of our Healthy Living Report where we uncover further insights into the retail of physical wellness, with responses from 500 Australians regarding their health & fitness plans for 2017.


Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement Purchases

Men and women appear to have similar approaches to taking multivitamins for general health and wellness. However, we start to see some gender differences in the choices of other supplemental products. Men tend to be more inclined to purchase supplements that support muscle building and condition, while women are focused on internal health and well-being. One of the biggest variations is with protein powders, with 34% men and only 20% of women citing they will incorporate this product to their regime. In contrast, more women mentioned they would take probiotics, with 29% versus 18% (males). Probiotics are associated with assisting overall gut health which is a very popular health focus for 2017.


Stylishly Active – Insights on Sportswear

Is activewear also passivewear? 56% of women and 45% of men said they only wear fitness apparel specifically for fitness activities 10% of the time!
The rest of the time they are wearing their activewear for comfort, convenience and appearance. This is not surprising with fashion designers blurring the lines between fashion and activewear for some of the global active brands.  When we talk about the term ‘activewear’ we are also referring to wearable tech such as Garmin, FitBit and Leaf Urban. Some of the top reasons why wearable tech is so attractive is to simply know more about their day-to-day activities, to stay on track with health & performance or to hold themselves accountable. Overall, activewear has never looked so good!


Retailers Get Digitally Fit

The modern problem of being time-poor and not wanting to waste time in-stores is remedied by retailers offering quality omni-channel experiences.
Webrooming (researching online and purchase in-store) is gaining in popularity with 48% stating it’s their preferred shopping method, perhaps with many doing their research whilst relaxing after-hours. Online reviews are also very popular, with 45% influenced by an online review in their decision making process.
With such a considerable percentage of consumers doing their research and/or shopping online, it is absolutely essential to ensure a seamless and informative experience across all touchpoints, digital or physical.


Go-To Retailers

Whilst many brands were mentioned as retailers they would visit to purchase health & fitness products, the top three that ranked the highest for both men and women is Kmart, Chemist Warehouse and Rebel Sport. Rebel Sport is seen as the market leader in all things health & fitness related, whilst the accessibility and affordability of Kmart and Chemist Warehouse is what set these retailers apart from the rest.


Lean & Mean Fitness Purchases

2 in 3 women will purchase new activewear/workout clothes to enhance (or encourage) their physical activities in 2017, with the same number of men planning to purchase new footwear specific for their pursuits.
When asked their opinion of the statement, “To get in shape you have to spend money,” 58% agreed, 15% didn’t have an opinion and 38% disagreed that you need to spend money to get in shape.
Whatever your opinion, there is no denying the retail influence of health & fitness-related consumables.


Healthy Living Report 2017 (Part 1)

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The new year. A time when the collective conscious turns its attention to self-improvement and healthier living.

We surveyed 500 Australians over the first several weeks of the new year and found a great many are seeking a course for positive change in the months ahead.
Healthy living goals also have implications for a healthy retail industry. With the new year comes a flurry of self-improvement spending, as shoppers buy everything from footwear to FitBits to fish oil.
The following pages are jam packed with insights into healthy living shoppers. The report, which will be delivered in two parts, encompasses findings from an equal number of men and women.
Time to flex your business muscle in 2017 and come to grips with today’s healthy living shopper.

Body In Focus

So many self-improvement efforts focus on the body; how it looks, how it feels and how it functions. Australians plan to change their lives in 2017 with the human body front and centre. Sleep quality and mental health is also a significant priority amongst many Australian men and women. On many levels, physical health and mental health go hand in hand.
For the most part, women are more likely to have set resolutions around looking and living better and reducing stress. Men, it seems, are more likely to get physical, choosing exercise as their main health focus.

Looking Good in 2017

New clothes, footwear, skincare products and dietary supplements are the main items Australians are planning to purchase to help them look better in 2017. Not surprisingly, women are more likely to purchase skincare products (62% vs 49%), cosmetics (59% vs 15%) and spa/beauty treatments (48% vs 16%) while men are more likely to be purchasing dietary supplements (63% vs 45%), oralcare products (55 vs 44%), body scents (50% vs 38%), gym memberships (45% vs 31%) and exercise equipment (45% vs 25%).


A Shift In Thinking

Concern for healthy living in general has become more important; with 4 in 5 Australians stating that this has some level of importance on their overall purchase decisions.

Healthier Habits

Eating healthier, drinking more water, eating more fruit/vegetables and cooking at home more are the most popular ways people are determined to change their life this year.
Women are more likely to plan to drink more water (76% vs 68%) and snack less (44% vs 39%) to achieve their goals while men are more likely to aim to drink less alcohol (29% vs 23%) to achieve their goals.

Change Your Habits. Change Your Life.

Exercising/working out more along with losing weight/watching weight are the two main ways both women and men are planning to change their life this year. Other priorities are to try and spend less/save more which may in turn help them sleep more/better which is another top goal.
While women generally love to shop, interestingly they are more likely to want to spend less/save more in 2017 (62% vs 46%) compared to men. Women are also planning on making more effort to keep their homes cleaner (50% vs 30%) and also to make more of an effort with their appearance (43% vs 25%).
Men are more likely to plan to change their life by wearing better quality clothes and footwear (32% vs 23%) and playing more sport (28% vs 15%).


Sweat It Out

Over two thirds of Aussie’s state that they intend to exercise or play sport 3-5 times a week with just over a quarter planning 3 times a week. All this sweat will go a long way to achieving the overall health goals for most Australians this year.

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Timing Is Everything

Just over half of Australians typically spend between 30-60 minutes on an exercise session. A further quarter would spend between 15-30 minutes per exercise session. A smaller number are hardcore committing to an hour or more for each work out!

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Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

The most common fitness, exercise and health goals for 2017 are:
  • To feel healthier (79%)
  • To feel better about myself (77%)
  • To lose weight (62%)
Women are more like than men to have these goals. Men it seems have a higher care factor than women ‘to be in better shape for others’ and wanting ‘to be perceived by others more positively.’

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When asked how they felt about reaching their goals and plans for 2017 the sentiment was largely around them being achievable and realistic. Interestingly though, having challenging goals was also a common thread, so it seems people are happy to push themselves a little.
Here’s what some had to say:

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Back To School Shopping [Report]

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As the holiday season winds down, post-Christmas sales are in full swing with research, conducted by Roy Morgan in association with Australian Retailers Association (ARA), predicting that Aussie shoppers will spend $17.2 billion from 26 December to 15 January.

According to the ARA chief Russell Zimmerman, the research is indicative of shopper focus on back to school sales.
Zimmerman says that retailers selling clothing, footwear, stationery and technology will see a big sales boost as back to school draws near and parents stock up on back to school essentials.
Field Agent wanted to understand the back-to-school mindset a little deeper, so we surveyed 400 Australian parents with school aged children on all things ‘Back To School’ (BTS).
Let this research help your brand/s make the grade with Back To School shoppers in 2017.

Back To School Budget Pressure

Our study of 400 households suggests most families are anticipating spending more (44%) or about the same (35%) on back-to-school in 2017. Only 9% will spend less.
The whopping 78% of parents surveyed agreed BTS is a strain on their household budgets.

Stocking up for Back To School

Predictably, uniforms (83%), basic school supplies (82%), and footwear (91%) top the list of general BTS merchandise purchases. However, half (or more) of all households surveyed said they’re planning on making purchases in all nine categories presented, suggesting BTS has important implications for brands across many categories. Some, including athletic equipment, electronic, are more vulnerable to the influence of age (i.e., grade-level) than others.

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Influences on Back To School

Make the list = make the sale

Many households follow a school-furnished list either “very closely” (35%) or “fairly closely” (33%) when shopping for BTS supplies. In all, 93% will follow their school’s list at least a little. Specific brand name mentions have some influence over shoppers’ choices, with 38% calling them moderately influential and 34% calling them “extremely” or “very” influential.

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How Brands Can Make The Grade

Top Shopping Priorities Amongst BTS Mums 

What really matters when shopping inside stores for BTS supplies? 76% made Quality a #1 or #2 priority and Price was also #1 or #2 priority for 76% of shoppers. Factors such as brand name or loyalty ranked the lowest priority at 65% and 66% respectively.

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Kids Call The Shots

Influence of children on BTS purchases

“But MUM!” You can hear the kids’ cries already. To what extent do the users of BTS purchases, the kids, influence the shoppers (mums and dads)? Kids wield considerable influence it seems over clothing/footwear and even the contents of packed lunches.

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Back To School Shopping Destinations

Preferred retailers for BTS Supplies

At 70%, Kmart sits high atop the retail mountain for selling school supplies, with Officeworks (62%) and Big W (52%) not far behind. On the question of who sells the most back-to-school clothing, aside from specialised uniform shops which take the biggest slice of the pie at 71%, 41% are getting their school clothing basics from Kmart and Target is a close second choice (38%). Of course, BTS is a big pie and many retailers enjoy a slice. 62% told us they will visit 2-3 stores to purchase school supplies.

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Role of Online Retailers for BTS Shoppers

Households do shop online for BTS supplies; they just don’t shop online a great deal with 38% not looking online at all. 62% say they are likely to purchase some school supplies from the Internet. As for the threads, 62% surveyed say they “not at all likely” to purchase BTS clothing and footwear online, and only 20% saying they are either “completely, very or moderately likely” to purchase clothing or footwear online. It seems most want their children to be able to try on clothing and footwear for the best fit prior to the school year.

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Inside That Brown Bag

Content Of Packed Lunches

Here’s an important question for food and beverage companies: What’s in the packed lunch? The focus on a healthy packed lunch is emphasised throughout most Australian schools, so it’s encouraging to see fruit, water and sandwiches as the most popular lunch box options, with a much smaller percentage of households including non-nutritious snacks such as soft drinks and lollies. For more than half of household surveyed (52%), shopping for packed lunch contents is a weekly affair, while 40% visit stores two or more times a week to supply their kids’ packed lunches.

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Snack Attack

Sometimes, the lunchbox contents fall short, or maybe the household ran out of time to pack an adequate lunch for the children. For those quick before and after-school meals, more than half listed Coles (26%) and Woolworths (25%) as the best quick option to hit the spot. McDonalds (10%) was slightly more popular than ALDI (7%).

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Frustrations with BTS shopping

Navigating the shops with a long list can be frustrating enough, but add to that the combination of not finding what you need, high prices or crowds and you have a recipe for annoyed shoppers. A whopping 53% said that out-of-stock products are one of the most frustrating parts of BTS shopping.

What Kids Have To Say

While most kids are excited and looking forward to starting or returning to school, there are also still nerves for some.


School The Competition This Year

Which brands will win Back To School 2017? Simple. Those that prepare and execute the best.
Mobile Audits & Research combine to offer companies a fast, affordable and simple way to learn about back-to-school shoppers and ensure BTS plans are properly executed inside stores.
So make the grade this back-to-school shopping season. Look to Mobile Audits & Research.

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Christmas Holiday Report – Part 2: Christmas Shopping The Australian Way

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As Christmas fast approaches, Field Agent set out to further understand how Aussie’s tackle their Christmas shopping. We present you with Part 2 of our Christmas Holiday Report, offering 9 pivotal insights into the attitudes and behaviours of 500 Australian Christmas shoppers with children in their households.

1. Which of the following are particularly important to you as you shop for and buy Christmas gifts?

When asked what are the most important factors to consider when Christmas shopping, it seems we are a budget savvy-bunch. Women are more likely to state that affordability /low cost is more important than males (82% vs 74% respectively). Women are also more likely to give ‘sentimentality’ as an important reason to buy Christmas gifts (46% female vs 36% male).

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2. When purchasing Christmas gifts this year, which 3 retailers will receive most of your business?

When purchasing Christmas gifts, it appears that the large discount department stores are likely to get most of the shoppers spend. Women are likely to shop at Kmart and Target compared to men. Aussie men are more likely to spend their Christmas budget at JB Hi-Fi, Toys R Us, Bunnings and Rebel Sport.

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3. Compared to last year, do you expect to spend more or less on gifts, decorations, toys, electronics and groceries?

Despite the uncertainty in the economy, Australian’s are still happy to spend up at Christmas time with over half of shoppers saying that they intend to spend a little more or a lot more than in 2015. Gifts in general are on the increase with 60% of people saying they will spend more. Other items including groceries (50%), toys (45%), electronics (43%) and decorations (35%) are all forecasted as a higher expenditure than in 2015.

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4. How likely are you to shop online for gifts this Christmas season?

The convenience of online shopping is stronger than ever, with nearly two thirds of shoppers citing they are ‘extremely/very likely’ to buy gifts online this Christmas. Men (64%) are more likely than women (50%) stating they are ‘extremely/very likely’ to purchase Christmas gifts online. Only 1% responded that they are ‘not at all likely’ to shop online this Christmas. The popularity of ‘web-rooming’ (when consumers research products online, then come into a physical store to buy them) and ‘show-rooming’ (the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store or other offline setting, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price) is on the increase. With this in mind, it’s even more important for retailers to offer an omni-channel shopping experience to ensure they capitalise on all forms of shopping.

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5. Looking ahead, which of the following gifts are your children likely to receive for Christmas this year?

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6. How much do you expect to spend PER CHILD (in dollars) on Christmas gifts THIS holiday season?

The average spend per child for Christmas is expected to be about $290; with approximately a third of shoppers saying that they plan to spend between $201 – $500 per child.

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7. How much approximately do you expect to spend on your spouse/partner (in dollars) for Christmas gifts this season?

The average spend on a spouse/partner is $268. Men are likely to spend $100 more on their female spouse than women are on their male spouse. Perhaps this due to the ritual of men traditionally leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute and not taking the time to shop around for the best deal (or maybe they are happy to splurge on their female spouse and indulge their expensive requests!).

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8. When shopping for groceries to enhance your Christmas celebrations, how much influence do in-store product displays have over your purchase decisions?

With a massive 77% of shoppers stating that they are either ‘moderately influenced, very influenced or extremely influenced’ on grocery displays at Christmas time, it shows the importance of having a strong merchandising strategy. An important ingredient in retail display execution is measuring compliance. Are your products ticketed as they should be? Are they fully stocked? Field Agent truly are your eyes and ears in peak promotional periods to ensure you’re capitalising on the strong retail trade. Less than 1 in 10 feel that in-store product displays will be extremely influential in their product decision.

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9. How likely are you to purchase at least one Christmas gift for your PET this Christmas?

Pets play such an important role in Australian families, that it only seems appropriate that they too, receive a special something to mark the season of giving.

Of those shoppers that own a pet, a whopping 75% will purchase at least one gift for their pet at Christmas. Only 1 in 10 shoppers said that they were not at all likely to purchase a gift for their pet.
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We encourage you to share this report with your team and your colleagues. As always, if you have any questions or want to talk further about how Field Agent can help you better understand your business, drop us us an email.

Did you download our Big Honking Tree Topping Guide to Christmas Shoppers 2016? It’s not too late.

Make it a Christmas season to remember and download the report now. 

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Christmas Holiday Report – International Study: Part 1

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SPECIAL REPORT

The BIG Guide to Christmas Shoppers 2016

Companies far and wide are already feverishly preparing for Christmas shoppers.

Field Agent is proud to present an essential, one-of-a-kind resource to help brands and retailers prepare for the 2016 Christmas shopping season.

Based on surveys with almost 3,000 shoppers across seven countries, Field Agent’s Big Honkin’, Tree Toppin’, Globe Trottin’ GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS 2016 is packed with pivotal insights into the attitudes and behaviors of holiday shoppers around the world.

This free report, Field Agent’s largest to date, explores a variety of topics, including:

  • Top retail destinations for Christmas gifts, groceries, and online purchases
  • Most common gift wishes among men and women, boys and girls
  • Product categories poised for a strong Christmas season
  • Roles of online shopping and digital, omnichannel services in Christmas shopping

The report casts a wide net, offering timely insights into multiple product categories:

  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Batteries
  • Salty Snacks
  • Clothing & Fragrances
  • Fast Food
  • Pet Supplies
  • Entertainment

As a bonus, the Guide to Christmas Shoppers 2016 includes The Brand Manager’s Guide to Q4 Retail Execution, which describes concrete solutions to six in-store challenges faced by many FMCG companies.

Make it a Christmas season to remember. Download the guide today.

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What Do Women Want? 500 Australian Women Talk Beauty & Cosmetics

What Women Want

French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent once said, “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” Year-by-year, women around the world testify to Saint-Laurent’s words…with their spending more.

Case-in-point: InStyle magazine reported that the average woman will spend $15,000 on beauty products over the course of her lifetime, including:

  • Mascara – $3,770
  • Eye shadow – $2,750
  • Lipstick – $1,780

Clearly, beauty products in general, and cosmetics in particular, account for a sizable chunk of consumer spending. Beauty, it appears, costs (and makes) money.

What are the Makeup Preferences & Behaviours of Women? Field Agent recently conducted a survey of 500 women across the country. Our purpose was to understand how women shop for and use beauty products, especially cosmetics.

Below we answer 8 pressing questions to help beauty brands better serve female shoppers.

  1. Where do you purchase most of your cosmetics / facial skin care…and why?

Large pharmacy retailers, including Priceline and Chemist Warehouse, dominated the competition with 43% of 500 female respondents saying they purchase most of their beauty products from pharmacies. Department stores, such as, Myer and Target took out second place with 15% taking their shopping to the retail giants. Following closely behind in third place are specialty retailers, including Mecca and Sephora, with 11% of respondents turning to the category experts for their beauty shopping.

graph-q3But why? Women said that their preference to shop in pharmacies is due to competitive prices, regular discounts and sales, reputable brands, available testers, and great advice.

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2. And what about specific retailers? Who’s winning women?

 To answer this question we asked, “Which retailers do you purchase beauty products from?” They were allowed to choose multiple options. Please note that this question asks about beauty products in general, not cosmetics specifically.

A staggering 72% of women cited Priceline as their main retailer for beauty products , followed closely by Chemist Warehouse (60%). Major department stores and supermarkets are also a popular choice for beauty shopping including Myer (43%) , Coles (41%), Woolworths (38%), Kmart (35%), Target (34%) and Big W (32%). Departments stores and supermarket shoppers state the convenience of shopping for beauty products whilst doing other essential shopping, trumps. In addition, the brand names available are generally well known at an affordable price point.

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3. Why aren’t online retailers performing better among women?

Field Agent specifically asked women, who weren’t enthusiastic about shopping for cosmetics online, what barriers prevent them from purchasing more of their makeup and facial skin care from online retailers.

We presented them with eight potential reasons why online shopping may not be ideal for purchasing cosmetics. More than half (62%) said they need to be able to match their skin tone (or other cosmetic shades) when buying makeup and 52% stated they prefer to see/touch the product before buying it. A third significant barrier is the added cost of shipping, with 44% of respondents stating that it can make the product more expensive than when shopping at a bricks and mortar store.

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4. What label claims do women really look for when purchasing cosmetics?

Few products are as full of marketing messages as beauty product packaging. But which label claims truly resonate with female shoppers? We presented our sample with 25 common makeup label claims—from “all natural” to “anti-aging” to “hypoallergenic.” Over half (56%) of the respondents mentioned sunscreen/SPF as an important ingredient in their decision making, closely followed by No Animal Testing, with 49% choosing to ensure their products are cruelty free. See the graph for results on other label claims.

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5. Which cosmetic brands are winning the affections of women?

We pitted 25 popular makeup brands in a head-to-head competition by asking women, “Which brands of cosmetics do you use?” Here are 10 of the brands which came out on top:

  1. Maybelline (65%)
  2. Revlon (52%)
  3. L’Oreal (49%)
  4. Rimmel (39%)
  5. MAC (36%)
  6. Cover Girl (31%)
  7. Max Factor (31%)
  8. OPI (30%)
  9. Clinique (28%)
  10. Sally Hansen (26%)

Interestingly, two of the top-ten brands specialise in nail/hand products (OPI & Sally Hansen) suggesting that Australian women prioritise hand care just as much as facial products. Of the remaining eight of the top-ten, only two brands are considered to be ‘luxury’ brands (MAC & Clinique). The remaining six of the top-ten brands are ‘pharmacy’ brands, which supports the earlier statistic of 72% of women choosing to shop for skincare & cosmetics at Priceline due to their range of quality, reputable brands, affordable prices and good range

6. What matters most to women shopping for cosmetics?

Now we get into the critical value-driven questions. Where 1 was most important and 5 least important, we asked women to rank five potential priorities when shopping for cosmetics. Quality and Price/Value distinguished themselves as the most important priorities among women. In all, 27% of women ranked Quality as a #1 priority, while 26% ranked Price/Value as #1 priority.

Here is the full listing by percentage of #1 & #2 responses:

  1. Quality (56%)
  2. Price/Value (51%)
  3. Colour (to match skin tone, wardrobe, season, etc – 45%)
  4. Brand (26%)
  5. Specific Label Claims (ie, organic, hypoallergenic, SPF, cruelty free, etc – 24%)
  6. Name (1%) 

7. Why do women shop for, buy, and wear cosmetics?

Women buy and wear makeup, primarily to feel good about themselves. We asked them to rank potential reasons for wearing cosmetics on the same 1-5 scale used for the previous question. Resoundingly, respondents put “feeling good about myself” at the top of the list. Here are the reasons presented as a percentage of women who chose the subsequent reason as their #1.

  1. Feeling good about myself (53%)
  2. Presenting a polished/professional image (22%)
  3. Covering up defects or times I feel/look poorly (19%)
  4. Being attractive to others (4%)
  5. Out of obligation (2%)    

It’s encouraging to see that only 4% of respondents cited ‘to be more attractive to others’ as their primary reason for wearing cosmetics, perhaps showing the generational shift in body image. That is, it is more important to place emphasis on how one feels about themselves, rather than how one looks to others. 77% of women ranked the ‘wearing cosmetics out of obligation’ as ‘least important.’

8. What role does brand loyalty play in cosmetic purchases?

It all depends on the makeup category. For example, exactly half (50%) said they are loyal to a specific brand of foundation, while only 13% said they are loyal to a particular brand of eye shadow. The graph shows loyalty measures on other makeup categories.

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Field Agent is the leader in mobile research and on-location audits. Through mobile technology, we allow companies to be with their customers…wherever they are. For this survey we asked 500 women to take pictures of the inside of their makeup drawers, as the sample photos below illustrate.

sample-agent-photos-of-makeupWhether you’re in need of shopper/consumer ‘in-the-moment’ insights, display audits, price checks, mystery shops, shopalongs, or a wide range of other compliance and research or competitor intelligence, we’ve got you covered.

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Alcohol Drinkers in Australia – Part Two: 8 Interesting Facts

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Earlier this month we shared our infograph with 100 points of interest into the Alcoholic Beverage Preferences and Behavior of Australian adults

Today, we share a further 8 fascinating facts from this study.

We also demonstrate how Field Agent serves the beer, wine, and spirits industries with location-specific information and insights. As the images depict, Agents were dispatched to restaurants, bars, stores, and homes to capture photos of everything from in-store beer displays to in-home liquor cabinets.

  1. Full strength beer tops the drink menu

We presented respondents almost 20 different alcoholic beverages—from craft beer to brandy, champagne to wine (no mixed drinks were included). Agents were asked to identify every drink in which they at least occasionally partake. At 64%, full strength beer accrued the most responses, while the following also received favour from at least a third: red wine (58%), cider (58%), white wine (55%), vodka (54%), champagne (43%), whiskey (43%), craft beer (37%) and rum (31%). 

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  1. The most common “alcoholic” beverages aren’t actually alcoholic

In addition to the alcoholic beverages above, respondents were also given the opportunity to select “non-alcoholic ingredients for making alcoholic beverages” they use at least occasionally.

Surprisingly, three non-alcoholic beverages—soft drink (Eg, Coke, Sprite) (73%), soda/mineral/tonic water (62%), and fruit juice (58%)—actually bested beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Coffee (56%) also made a strong showing. Accordingly, a company doesn’t have to be in the alcohol industry play an important role within the alcoholic beverages industry.

  1. Men go for beer; women reach for wine

In our survey, an overwhelming amount of men made full strength beer (81%) their alcoholic beverage of choice. Following in second place was red wine (60%). Among women, however, white wine (68%) and cider (62%) were most prevalent.

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  1. Aussies LOVE to party!

One objective of our survey was to understand when people drink beer, wine, and spirits.

We presented respondents with numerous possible drinking occasions – or times when they might enjoy a drink or two. The choices included sporting events, concerts, camping, air travel, holidays, and many other occasions (24 total). Respondents were asked to identify all the events when they normally have one or more alcoholic beverages.

At the top of the list, 83% said they usually enjoy at least one drink whilst at a birthday party, either their own or someone else’s. Following closely as popular occasions to fill the glass, was weddings (79%), dinner at a restaurant (79%), BBQs (78%) and holidays (71%).

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  1. Top holidays for a drink: New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve

Australians love a public holiday. Our favourite times to indulge in a festive tipple include  New Year’s Eve (86%), Christmas Day (83%), Christmas Eve (62%), Australia Day (60%), and Boxing Day (53%). Well, if Santa gets a beer….!

  1. Supermarket bottle shops are the premier retail channel for alcohol purchases

Where do shoppers go for their beer, wine, and spirits?

At 88%, supermarket retailers such as Coles Liquor, Woolworths Liquor, Aldi Liquor and IGA Liquor amassed the most responses. Perhaps this is because of the convenience of being able to do grocery shopping at the same time as picking up a couple of drinks for the week ahead. Convenience will always trump for most Aussie shoppers.

  1. Party attendance is an important influence on alcohol consumption (and so is being married!)

The survey asked respondents whether they’re drinking more, less, or about the same as they were five years ago. Results were fairly split, with 30% drinking more, 36% drinking less, and 34% drinking about the same.

We followed up this question by asking consumers why their consumption levels have changed—that is, why they’re drinking more or less. In both cases, the top responses were fairly general. “I’m getting older” (44%) was the top reason claimed by those drinking less.

“I just enjoy it more” (60%) was #1 among those drinking more.

But it was interesting to note the role of party attendance on consumption levels. “I attend fewer parties” (43%) was the second highest reason for drinking less, and “I attend more parties” (43%) was the second highest reason for drinking more.

Amusingly, 15% of males mentioned that they drink less since getting married, whilst only 4% of women cite marriage as a reason for drinking less!

  1. Point-of-purchase has power to influence alcohol purchases

The survey also explored several “trigger events” that cause consumers to at least occasionally purchase alcoholic beverages.

It appears that in-store sales and discounts (71%) often serve as the influence for alcohol purchases. Public holidays are also a popular reason for alcohol purchasing with 41% citing this as their trigger.

Shopper marketing may also hold significant sway over the spending of many drinkers. For instance, 29% identified ‘in-store signage & displays,’ and an equivalent influence from ‘in-store sampling and demos’ as important trigger events for their alcohol purchases. Compare this to the 24% assigned to advertisements and commercials on television, radio, print and social media. What these figures do not take into account is the overall influence of a comprehensive marketing mix whereby all or a combination of these factors work synergistically as an influence to purchase.

Instant Visibility. Anywhere, Anytime.

As demonstrated above, Research and Mobile Audits get companies closer to distant business operations and customers.

Whether you need instant visibility inside stores, homes, restaurants, or some other location, we have 50,000 Australian Agents standing by right now, ready at a minute’s notice to be your ‘eyes and ears.’

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100 Proof Insights About Alcohol Drinkers in Australia [Infograph]

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Field Agent recently surveyed 500 drinking-age Australian adults (50% men/50% women) about their purchases of and behaviour toward alcoholic beverages. The sample consisted exclusively of self-identified drinkers.

We asked a range of questions, including:

  • What alcoholic beverages do you purchase? (Eg, beer, wine, champagne, vodka, etc)
  • What non-alcoholic beverages do you mix with alcohol?
  • From where do you purchase alcohol? (Eg, liquor stores, restaurants, mass merchandisers, etc)
  • On or during what occasions do you consume alcohol?
  • Are you drinking more or less than you were 5 years ago?

We extracted several key insights from the responses, which we share below as a rich, colorful infographic. Particular attention is paid to the differences between men and women.

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Maximise Vending Machine Sales

Summary: For many of us across the country, trips to the vending machine are a common occurrence. We surveyed 500 Australians, split evenly between men and women, to understand consumers’ attitudes towards and behaviour using vending machines.

What We Buy from Vending Machines

We’ve all been there. The mid afternoon trip to the ‘vendo’ to curb a craving.

We presented Agents with items commonly found in vending machines, asking them to select which they purchase.

With 57% visiting a vending machine mid to late afternoon, it seems that a sugar craving is the more popular reason to visit a vending machine with 62% of respondents purchasing chocolate and 59% choosing a sugar-laden soft drink. Savory snacks come in 3rd position with 58% on the hunt for a salty snack.

Interestingly, the second most popular choice of beverage is water with 51% choosing to quench their thirst with the elixir of life, which is aligned with the growing trend of the general population making more health conscious food choices.

“Consumers are more focused on health and have concerns about calorie intake,” says Alison Watkins, Managing Director of Coca Cola Amatil. With a 9.3% sales increase in still drinks and energy drinks categories, the group is planning on growing its still drinks category and continues to focus on offering smaller, 250mL soft drink cans, plus premium non-alcoholic drinks including ginger beer.

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Barriers to Higher Vending Machine Sales

With society moving toward being cashless, one of the largest barriers for higher vending machine usage and sales is the lack of cashless purchase options such as Tap & Go or Apple Pay.

Q_18_graphJust under half (44%) mentioned that the greatest barrier to vending machine use is lack of carrying cash / change.

Other significant barriers to higher vending machine use is increased price – higher prices for basic items that can be easily purchased at supermarkets are making consumers think twice about impulse snack purchases. Machine location is another barrier with many Agents commenting that they rarely even see a vending machine in their day to day life. Finally, with the increase in consumers paying more attention to their health and food choices, 29% commented that there are simply not enough healthy options in vending machines.

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Where do you regularly purchase snack (ie, non-meal) food and/or beverages from?

Almost all Agents (95%) stated that they regularly purchase snack foods and beverages from the supermarket either as part of their regular supermarket shop, or they would prefer to visit a supermarket for the purpose of a snack item purchase. Impulse purchases at the check out account for a quarter of all snack food/ beverage purchases.

37% mentioned that convenience stores/ petrol stations are where they purchase snack foods and beverages from.

The overwhelming response in favour of supermarkets as the preferred place to purchase snack food is primarily price driven with supermarkets offering far better value for money than vending machines. In addition, supermarkets give the consumer more control over the nutritional value of their snacking choices.

Q-15 Graph

For healthy returns, vending machines need to offer healthy options.

Healthy snacking isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay. Amongst our Agents, 58% mentioned that they are concerned about consuming healthy snack food and beverages; women are more likely to be concerned about consuming healthy snack food (63% female vs 53% male who gave a rating of 7+)

So what did they think about the healthy options available in vending machines? More than half (57%) of Agents considered salted nuts as not unhealthy snack option in vending machines, compared to a much lower number considering chocolate bars (19%) potato chips (18%) and chocolate bars (14%) as not unhealthy.

Q8 graph_V2What do these results say about our snacking habits?

Q7_graph

As people become more educated about food and its influence on overall health, they are more and more conscious about making more healthy choices on what goes into their bodies. A movement toward better government regulation toward high calorie/low nutrition food is supported with an average of 50% of Agents agreeing that this is important.

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In light of this movement, an overhaul on the product range in vending machines may be what is in order to improve their overall appeal and make them more attractive to the health conscious consumer.

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Cough, Colds & Flu Season [Shopper Insights]

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We surveyed 500 shoppers to understand several timely questions about cough, cold, and flu shopping and purchase activity. 

Sneezing, coughing, and runny noses are here. And as temperatures fall, sales of medications, tissues, “clear liquids,” and other treatments will inevitably rise. It’s all part of the joys of the wintery season.

To help brands and retailers prepare for the quickly approaching rush of those under-the-weather shoppers, we surveyed 500 of our Agents to explore several important questions about cough, cold, and flu shopping.

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Majority of people purchase OTC (over-the-counter) medications to prepare for the cough/cold season, with buying vitamins as a preventative measure the second most common preparation. About a third say that amongst other preparations they take immunity boosters, limit exposure to people or stock up on hand sanitiser as methods to limit their likelihood of getting a cough / cold.

9 in 10 participants stated that they use up to 4 OTC remedies to treat a cold / cough with about 2/3 saying they use between 2 and 4 OTC products.

54% said that they always keep cough/cold remedies on hand with the other 46% saying they buy when needed.

Q8_graph

When choosing what product to purchase, just over half (54%) base their decision on the cough/cold by symptom, with just under a quarter purchasing by brand (22%). When treating cough / colds very few made price a priority; seemingly getting the right medication to do the job being more important.

Q10_graph

Preferred brands are Panadol (60%), Strepsils (56%), Codral and Nurofen (53%) and Vicks (48%). This is not surprising given each of these brands are a market leader in the way they treat cough / cold symptoms. Perhaps this is indicative of the importance of brand equity and trust in a brand when one is feeling unwell and/or vulnerable.

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When shopping for cough/cold remedies, the majority of people prefer to shop at a chemist (79%) as opposed to supermarkets or other retailers (21%).

With pharmacy the preferred choice, we drilled down to see that an overwhelming 54% shop at Chemist Warehouse compared to the other pharmacy retailers. There is a perception not only of ‘value for money’, but that this all in one chemist format will have everything they need under one roof.

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Almost 3/4 of people say the making cleaning more often a priority when cough/colds strike in their household. This suggests that people may be more concerned with the cleanliness of their surrounds to keep coughs / colds at bay as opposed to keeping their health at its prime.

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More than half of people say they “tough it out” and go to work/school; with the balance equally divided between treating their symptoms and staying home to rest and get better. Perhaps this is indicative that the ‘little Aussie battler’ mentality is still strong, even in modern Australia!

 

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