Nielsen says its enhanced Homescan consumer panel will capture the buying habits of tomorrow’s consumer and uncover future opportunities.
The new enhancements are said to give Australian retailers and manufacturers access to uncover the biggest opportunities in retail: the rapidly growing ecommerce channel, purchasing patterns of multicultural households, and health and wellness trends with the integration of nutritional information and an expanded read on fresh food categories.
“Our upgraded methodology also provides a more comprehensive read of smaller shopping baskets,” Nielsen Connect – Pacific Managing Director Bernie Hughes said.
“This is an important consumer dynamic to understand as households now tend to shop more frequently and in ways convenient to them rather than the traditional weekly shop.”
The latest Homescan enhancements include a measure of the burgeoning grocery ecommerce channel. Homescan data reveals that 278,000 new households bought their groceries online in 2018; and in the first quarter of 2019, online grocery sales increased by 22.2 per cent versus the previous year – 10 times faster than total grocery growth of 2.2 per cent in the same period. Pet supplies, frozen food, health and beauty and confectionery are currently the fastest growing categories online.
Homescan has also expanded its recruitment efforts to focus on delivering population representation for all ethnic groups and their specific buying habits. Nielsen analysis on buying habits of ethnic households shows that Asian-born consumers’ grocery spend is growing 2.8 times faster than all other ethnicities combined; however, Australia’s biggest grocery suppliers still under-index when it comes to how much Asian-born consumers are spending on their brands.
Integration of nutritional information
Through Nielsen’s collaboration with The George Institute, the Australian grocery industry has the ability to link actual shopper behaviour with detailed food composition information in Homescan. The relationship will provide insights on 100 key categories, including health star ratings and core nutritional information such as sugar content and gluten free. This information helps manufacturers understand which brands and categories are more influenced by health-related information, so they can attract new buyers looking to make a switch to suit their healthier aspirations.
Measure of fresh produce categories in all channels
Homescan’s measure of fresh categories (fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, deli and seafood) has also been enhanced to better capture more products and across channels. This is particularly important when it comes to fresh produce and increasing cultural diversity. Homescan data shows that ethnic households purchase significantly more leafy Asian vegetables, lychees, mango, eggplant and herbs in both volume and dollar terms compared to non-ethnic households, making these categories increasingly important for growers and retailers. The data also highlights the importance of having a cross-channel read as ethnic households allocate significantly more of their fresh produce spend to specialty stores such as Asian grocers, greengrocers and markets.
Nielsen has heavily invested in its technology by launching a flexible, readily-accessible, online platform. It is said to give users immediate access to consumer diagnostic information and advanced analytics, while allowing teams to collaborate in real-time.
“These exciting new developments to our Homescan platform tap into key areas of new growth which will be critical in shaping our clients’ future business decisions, ultimately leading to a better customer and retailing experience,” Mr Hughes said.