Category & Insights

We are creatures of habit P1 – Commodity Snacking

Posted on 22nd June, 20233 min read

We are creatures of habit- part 1

We are creatures of habit, which can be a good thing for Sales and Marketing professionals as Shopper and Consumer behaviour can be somewhat predictable. However, being creatures of habit in this instance is a bad thing.

It is important to truly understand your shopper to succeed in retail. You need to understand the drivers that motivate purchase decisions for a shopper, and that they might be different to that of the consumer. As such, consumer research together with shopper research provide a powerful insights foundation for brand growth.

Strikeforce demonstrate their expertise in Shopper Insights through recent studies undertaken – helping their clients in a multitude of categories as well as retail environments. This example is of the Commodity Snacking Category, where Strikeforce conducted some quantitative analysis. Through this research, it was identified:

97.2% of shoppers overwhelmingly purchase product A and/or B at the major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths. This is over indexed relative to the retailers’ share of sales of the grocery market. Independent supermarkets barely rated a mention here.

Females are not fussed where they purchase- whether it be Woolworths or Coles- both achieving 48.6% share, however 64.3% of males much prefer to shop this category at Woolworths compared to 33.3% for Coles.


51.0% of shoppers would choose Brand A, and 18.1% Brand B. However, when this was broken down, males showed a higher indexation for Brand B almost double the total market at 33.3%. Interestingly, 28.3% of shoppers would consider either brand- representing a switch opportunity for either brand.

47.7% indicated they would be highly likely or somewhat likely to switch brands if their preferred brand was out of stock.


Price and flavour are the two key drivers of purchase (51.1% and 28.0% respectively), with other factors including Occassion, Brand, Pack Size and Limited Edition not achieving above 10% influence. Demonstrating brand loyalty is minimal.

Traditional flavours are continuing to remain steady with 63.3% indicating they exclusively purchase traditional flavours and are not influenced by limited edition flavours. This was further supported by traditional flavours representing over 78.0% of flavour recall, and 85.6% of respondents recalled buying one of the top 5 flavours more than once in the last 3 months. The introduction of new flavours don’t encourage much switching.

Perhaps the most pertinent Shopper Insight to the future of either brand is-
that 7 out of 10 of shoppers would only maybe or not at all consider purchasing at full-price. Ultimately, shoppers have been trained to shop predominantly on promotion. Waiting for the discounts and some even stocking up when they happen. This behaviour devalues the category and diminishes brand loyalty. If either Brand A or B don’t break this cycle of price promotions (depth and frequency) the sales opportunity will continue to be eroded for the category.

This insight could lead to an important strategic decision for the manufacturer and retailer when attending the next Category Review.

We are creatures of habit, and in this instance the consumer is implementing learned behaviour of waiting for the price promotions. The opportunity lies in carefully breaking this cycle.

Read part 2 of ‘We are creatures of habit’ to learn what insights were identified in the Chilled Beverages Category.

To learn more about the service Strikeforce has to offer, contact the team today.