supermarket shelf photo


You probably have some brand-name favorite products on which you just won’t compromise. But there are other products that, given the right coupon, you’re likely to throw any brand loyalty right out the window.

A new study reveals some interesting findings about which grocery purchases we’re most susceptible to switching, given the right coupons and promotions.

Here’s a hint: the results are not promising for companies hoping to attract lifelong customers to their brands of toothpaste, detergent and tuna.

Acosta Sales and Marketing’s latest “The Why Behind The Buy” report surveyed consumers about their grocery shopping habits, asking how and why they purchase the products they do.

Not surprisingly, the feature that shoppers say is most important in choosing a store, is having the “best prices on the items I regularly buy.” Even after getting to their favored store, though, many are willing to compromise on some of those items they regularly buy – if the price is right.

Acosta asked shoppers when they typically decide which brand they’re going to buy, in a selection of categories. In some categories, shoppers tend to head to the store with a specific product in mind. In others, price dictates their decision.


Canned tuna displayed some of the lowest brand loyalty in the survey. 15% of shoppers said they’re most likely to buy whatever brand of tuna is on sale in the weekly circular. And in the laundry care category, 10% said they primarily make their purchase decisions based on what coupons they have.

In fact, laundry care had one of the highest rates of coupon-influenced brand switching. 27% of shoppers said having a coupon for a laundry care product would influence their decision on what brand to buy. The fozen breakfast category was also cited by 27% of shoppers. And leading the pack was oral care – 30% of shoppers are willing to buy whatever brand of toothpaste they have a coupon for.

Weekly sales also influence purchase decisions. A third of shoppers said price promotions affect what brand of salty snacks, soft drinks and frozen snacks they buy, with a quarter of shoppers mentioning juice, kids’ yogurt and frozen pizza.

And when it comes to trying new products, coupons and promotions are also an important factor. While a third of shoppers surveyed were likely to try a new fresh produce item just because it “looked interesting,” the household cleaners category didn’t have that same draw. 31% said they would try a new household cleaner only if it was on sale, and 23% said they’d only buy it with a coupon.

Overall, 58% of shoppers in the survey said they enjoy grocery shopping. And those who enjoy it most, said they were also more likely to spend more on groceries in the coming year. “Perhaps the key to increased grocery spending is a more enjoyable shopping experience,” the report concludes.

And in certain categories at least, more coupons and sales might just do the trick too.

Photo by Danny Nicholson


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