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5 Trends Shaping CPG in 2022: Knowing Your Customers is Critical to Keeping Up

It’s a constant topic of conversation – brands are forever misunderstanding their customers. Between cookies, behavioral data, and more, marketers are starting to get a clearer picture of what customers are looking for, but they are missing one key element: the “why.” The context behind a purchasing decision is critical to understanding your customers so that you can better improve your bottom line.

Luckily, we have the technology available now to simply ask consumers: Why?

What made you purchase that brand over the other?

Why are you willing to spend more on brand-name goods? By surveying consumers with more than just multiple choice questions, you can gather both qualitative and quantitative data to help inform your marketing decisions. To analyze the data, you can leverage machine learning and natural language processing to gather context and insights.

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That’s exactly what we did when we analyzed consumer data and identified five key areas where consumers are focusing their buying power in 2022. In this article, we’ll discuss the five trends shaping consumer packaged goods (CPG) in 2022 and how marketers can adjust their strategies to meet consumers’ shifting demands.

Trend 1: Post-pandemic social shifts

The pandemic turned the world on its head and changed the way we do ordinary things. Working from home became the norm, visits with friends were moved to Zoom, first dates became (literally) a walk in the park, rather than a coffee shop, and many took to the kitchen, rather than restaurants, for their meals. According to our survey results, many of these changes aren’t going anywhere. 45% of people plan to continue having dates outside, and 14% will have them virtually.

57% of respondents are cooking from scratch more often, and 97% of those plan to continue to do so. As we head into 2022, brands must consider these post-pandemic societal shifts when marketing to their customers so they can remain relevant and at the forefront of consumers’ minds when shopping.

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Trend 2: Sustainability in CPG

It’s a recipe for concern – there’s been an uptick in severe weather events, an increase in noise from brands about their sustainability practices and the recent COP26 event. Combined, these events have consumers very concerned about sustainability and the environment. In fact, 56% of the respondents to a survey we conducted told us they are more concerned about sustainability matters since the pandemic hit. With that being said, in order to attract and retain customers, brands must keep their sustainability efforts at the forefront of their messaging and find unique ways to differentiate their efforts from those of other brands to get eco-conscious consumers purchasing their products.

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Trend 3: Inflation

Inflation is no joke – it’s rising at a rate faster than it has in the past 30 years. Yet, despite price hikes, consumers are sticking with brands they know and love. In fact, in the US, our survey found that people will pay up to 10% more for their favorite brands of packaged foods without giving it a second thought. Why? Nostalgia! It’s the feelings that these brands evoke that keep consumers coming back. So, as a brand battling inflation and economic hardship amongst its consumers, your best bet is to harness the power of emotion in your marketing to drive brand loyalty.

Trend 4: Corporate social responsibility

When it comes to making purchases, 44% of Gen Z respondents report that they want a brand’s values to align with their own. Combine that with the fact that by 2025 Gen Z will have the buying power of $143 billion, and it means neutrality on societal issues is no longer an option for brands. If brands want to tap into the buying power of Gen Z, they must take public stances on current issues and use their resources to push for social change. For Gen Z consumers, corporate social responsibility is a must, so to stand out from the competition, brands must deliver.

Trend 5: Health and wellbeing

Based on our data, 1 in 2 people globally have changed their health behaviors since quarantine, and 1 in 4 say they feel better now than ever. People, with their own wellbeing in mind, are taking a closer look at what they consume, and this is significantly impacting CPG industries across the board. In fact, 24% of people across the globe have changed their alcohol consumption habits for health reasons. Therefore, brands that sell alcohol should consider investing more heavily in marketing their low-calorie beverage options. And, because so many people have increased their focus on their health, all CPG brands could benefit from marketing the health benefits of their products to attract more customers.

These trends can’t be ignored because they came straight from the horse’s mouth – they are based directly on consumer feedback. Brands must recognize that in order to improve their bottom line, they need to better understand their customers, and it all starts with the right technology. By surveying consumers in real-time, and leveraging machine learning and natural language processing to analyze the data, brands can understand the context behind their customers’ purchasing decisions. They can then leverage these insights to improve their marketing and keep customers coming back time and time again.

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