Consumer X-Ray: Preferences defined by generation; younger shoppers price conscious

Written by  //  July 7, 2011  //  Retail  //  No comments

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Puerto Rican consumers are clearly divided according to generations, with each reflecting unique sets of likes and tastes, as well as their own way of shopping. The commonality among all groups, however, is that they are increasingly more demanding, educated and sophisticated.

Such were the findings of the 19th edition of the Consumer X-Ray study produced by the Food Marketing Industry and Distribution Chamber unveiled Thursday during the trade group’s annual convention in Fajardo.

“The study also confirmed that when making their purchases, consumers are concerned about their health and maintaining good nutrition, which is in tune with the messages that [the Chamber] has been developing through its orientation campaigns,” said Manuel Reyes Alfonso, executive vice president of the group known as MIDA in Spanish.

The Consumer X-Ray study, conducted by Gaither International for MIDA, analyzes data compiled over a six-year period, from a sample of 6,750 island residents representing “Generation Y” (18-30 year-olds), “Generation X” (31-46 year-olds), “Baby Boomers” (47-65 year-olds) and “Golden Age” (66 and older) consumers.

“We’re seeing consumer who are calculating each of their steps, who describe themselves as cheerful, with strong character, who have no time to be weak and who strives on a daily basis for the welfare of the family they love,” said Richard Valdés, chairman of MIDA’s Consumer X-Ray committee.

Significant findings
The study revealed that 47 percent of the people surveyed check store flyers at home before going shopping. Most who review the flyers are part of the “X” and “Y” generations, with 53 percent and 49 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, 46 percent of all surveyed take a list with them to the supermarket. In this segment, “Golden Age” members prevail with 51 percent.

“Among the revealing data that this study brings to the retailer and the manufacturer is that 56 percent of respondents decides where to shop by looking at the ‘flyers’ and almost 30 percent use coupons to determine their place of purchase,” said Tere Caballero, member of the MIDA Consumer X-Ray committee.

Younger people give more importance to price when deciding where to shop while as age comes into play, location becomes more important, the study showed.

Meanwhile, the Consumer X-Ray study shows that 60 percent of consumers think that generic brands are excellent or good and 85 percent said they will buy generic brands next year, fueling the recent growth of private-label brand acceptance.

Private labels are for the most part about 30 percent less expensive than their national brand peers, and offer similar or the same product quality, which bears importance considering that the study found that more than half, or 52 percent of survey participants check the nutritional facts on product labels.

Finally, the study also found that the four groups have three main concerns in common: their economic situation; their safety; and the environment.

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