dunnhumby, a customer science company, released its findings on consumer food preferences, a data-driven science study aimed at informing the consumer packaged goods industry and revealing and predicting the future needs of consumers. The report analyzes emerging trends, as well as verifies the validity and accuracy of its 2014 findings. 


Key findings of the dunnhumby consumer food preferences include:

• Natural Sweeteners – items that contain real and not artificial sugar, or other sugar options.

• Responsibly Produced – Fair trade certified. Free range. Certified organic. More recycling. Sustainable packaging. These foods contain or undergo a more natural process.

• Fermented Foods – Foods that are pickled, or have fermentation as part of their process. Examples include kimchi, sauerkraut, leben and tempeh.

• Small batch Goods – Goods that are handmade or artisan. Most consumers identify these purchases as a lifestyle choice that resonates with them.

• Religious Standards – This trend refers to products, meats especially, that are prepared in line with religious standards, specifically halal.

• Over 75% of consumers already engaged in the Responsibly Produced trend consider it to be a part of a larger trend they identify with. Approximately 26% learned more about responsibly produced products from a magazine, 15% from personal research, and 14% from seeking information online.

• Almost all (92%) of fermented foods enthusiasts called out fermented foods’ unique flavor or taste. These consumers are less purposeful in actively seeking fermented foods or choosing these products over others; however, these consumers are unique in that two-thirds of them would be willing to shop somewhere else to make sure they could get their fermented food item.

• Most small batch consumers became aware of the trend at the grocery store. Additional ways of learning about small batch products came from trying small batch items in a restaurant (17%), a cooking show (13%) or from a cookbook (10%).

• 82% of respondents consuming products prepared using religious standards said they cared about the impact the foods they eat have on their health. They believe eating items produced meeting religious standards signifies higher product standards.

• When asked where they first encountered a trend, dunnhumby found that nearly one-third of consumers discovered the trend at shelf while visiting a mainstream grocery store.

“By looking at consumer shopping carts, and analyzing what consumers are actually buying, we were able to identify the organic drivers of growth, to be predictive versus reactive,” said Anna Saffer, Director of New Product Development for dunnhumbyUSA. “Using this data and by listening to customers, we are able to better understand their needs, and fulfill them.”

Poring over data from their five-macro themes from last year’s predicted trends, dunnhumby reviewed actual sales through October 2014, and found that 78% of their predicted trends showed strong sales growth this year. To access the detailed consumer food preference findings, go to dunnhumby.com/foodtrends2015.