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What Matters to Consumers?


Consumers make decisions everyday on what products they want to purchase, and why. For gluten-free products, the situation is no different. Shoppers must choose one product over all the rest to spend their hard-earned money on. How do they make this decision? What factors do they consider? It is important for manufactures to understand what matters most to potential customers in order to understand in what areas they must focus their marketing and communication activities. Through a 2017 consumer survey, Germinal Organic (partnering with Qualtrics) sought to understand which factors matter most to gluten-free consumers: company story, ingredients, recipes, or brand familiarity.


Of the results recorded, it was no surprise that almost 70% of consumers felt that the ingredients (quality, traceability, and origin) found in gluten-free products are most important element for them when choosing what product to purchase. One the opposite end of the spectrum is company story and origin, which are not of great importance to gluten-free shoppers. Recipe choices and brand familiarity make up the middle, with approximately 60% of respondents marking them as moderately to very important.


While gluten-free foods seem to be more popular amongst women than men, both genders focus primarily on ingredients and recipe selection when choosing a product to purchase. However, the uniformity in the results across men and women means that businesses cannot segment consumers by traditional demographics like gender. They must look deeper into different consumer types to understand what factors are most used.


Heavy consumers eat gluten-free snacks every day or even many times a day, while occasional users eat these products rarely, at most only a couple times a week. Heavy consumers typically live a gluten-free lifestyle or are focused on a particular type of diet, which most likely relates to why they pay such close attention to individual ingredients. Heavy users are putting these ingredients into their bodies every day, which reflects why they put such a high importance on this factor when deciding which products to buy. Occasional users are more focused on recipes because they eat these products much less often, meaning they are looking for an overall combination of ingredients that best appeals to their taste. Although occasional users may like chocolate chip cookies, they most likely are not going to focus in on quinoa vs. chickpea flour for example. These types of consumers are more focused on new combinations of flavors, rather than finding ingredients specific to their nutritional needs.


There are many factors consumers consider when determining which gluten-free products to buy; however, based on our survey we found that ingredients are most important, while the company story and origin are considered the least. Although finding out which factors appeal best to different types of consumers is important, the challenge is to understand the best strategy that will allow you to reach your desired target audience..

Stay tuned and follow Germinal Organic on LinkedIn for more consumer and industry insights.


Germinal Organic at the Natural Product Expo West 2023

Natural Product Expo West 2023

From 8 to 10 March we will participate in the next Natural Products Expo West 2023 in the Anaheim Convention Center.
Natural Products Expo West continues to be the one of the most long awaited Organic Food & Beverage events in the U.S.
Stop by the North Hall Booth N1507 and meet our team!

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