Packaging Matters: Most Consumers are Spending over 50% of Their Budget on Packaged Foods

Packaging Matters: Most Consumers are Spending over 50% of Their Budget on Packaged Foods

We read an article from Food Navigator on research about consumer spending habits on packaged foods. Check out our post for some of the important stats and insights from this study on packaged foods.

Who Buys Packaged Foods?

According to CivicScience, who surveyed 5,800 US shoppers, 54% spend a quarter or less of their shopping budget on fresh food compared to packaged or prepared foods. The study also revealed that packaged food shoppers are more likely to be men over the age of 45 with average household incomes. Households with children may also be slightly more likely to purchase packaged foods.


Packaged food shoppers were found more likely to stick with familiar foods, making them less likely to try new packaged foods unless given a free sample. Such shoppers were also more likely to watch TV and admitted that advertisements played a role their purchases.

While packaged food shoppers were reported to be less concerned about organic or non-GMO foods, some research suggests it may catch the attention of fresh food shoppers, who may be more concerned with healthy living. Changing packaging to more sustainable materials or advertising a band’s social consciousness may also help attract fresh food shoppers.

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Our Thoughts

Packaging is critical to sales in the middle aisles at the grocery store. Basically, half of all shoppers are purchasing 75% of their food from the middle of the grocery store. The research also indicated that a majority of shoppers make habitual purchases in these aisles unless given a free sample. We have found this to be true in some categories, while in other categories, shoppers will make more impulse buys. Coffee is a great example of a category where the majority of purchases are impulse buys whether it is based on price, package design, or what’s new. Eye tracking is showing us incredible insights into why packages are picked up at the shelf and purchased. Reach out to us to start running a study on your category, and figure out what it takes to get shoppers to make those impulse decisions at the point of purchase.

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