The State of Natural and Organic: 3 Shopper Trends Emerging From the Pandemic (New Hope Network’s Spark Brand Success Series Recap)

March 19, 2021
by SPINS Marketing

A Post-Pandemic Retail Environment

SPINS VP of Business Development, Kathryn Peters, joined the New Hope Network’s Spark Brand Success Series to discuss data trends since the pandemic began 

As SPINS data shows, health and wellness products are outpacing conventional products by 350 basis points across the mix of stores that SPINS tracksWith that, brands and retailers should ask themselves how their products connect to the macro trends we’re seeing in todays market in order to appeal to shoppers.   

Peters explained why looking across several different channels to collect data is the best way to understand what consumers care about—especially if you want to position yourself as the shopping destination in a post-pandemic environment. 

“These channels are leading indicators of trends and where we typically see brands build at the early points of their life cycle.”  

The Importance of Nutrient Density

Consumers expect more from the products they are buying. Regardless of the motive, whether it be to a limited budget due to the tumultuous pandemic or seeking a stronger body, consumers are seeking a deeper nutritional benefit. 

The pandemic has shifted consumer priorities to products that will sustain them between less frequent shopping trips. For example, SPINS data showed the sale of dried beans skyrocketing well over 100% due to being more nutrient-dense and budget-friendly. All the SPINS reporting channels continue strong year-over-year growth rates with the total plant-based marketplace currently growing at +30%.  

Our data has continuously shown that natural products are continuously outpacing conventional products. By positioning yourself in the plant-based lens, you are positioning yourself for success,” states Peters.

Get more insights into how plant-based is expanding throughout the store. 

Immunity Focus Continues: Diet as A Lifestyle

Shoppers are searching for new eating plans that they can personalize to their own strategies and needs to result in greater success. Peters expects maintainable diets featuring whole, minimally processed foods to take center stage. Products communicating less sugar and carbs as well as fewer additives will also be sought as shoppers leverage components from across many popularized diets to construct a strategy that works best for themselves. 

Beyond just weight and general health management, consumers are also turning to their foods and supplements for natural health benefits and as a source of medicine in not only building a strong body but a strong immune system as well.  

What Is Good for People?

Consumers place a large emphasis on social and economic sustainability. Shoppers believe it is important for brands to take care of their employees, even in tough times 

With underrepresented businesses showing a significant sales increase, consumers continue to want to support those who have endured oppression to help build a more equitable future. For example, LGBTQ businesses saw a 22% sales growth, alongside a 23% growth for BIPOC owned businesses according to SPINS data and information from KeHE DIVERSEtrade™ products. 

Shoppers are focused on finding better-for-you and better-for-everyone products that suit their lifestyles—and COVID reinforced those habits. Nutrient density, diet as a lifestyle, and sustainability will continue to remain top purchase drivers for shoppers.