In Consumer Values, Cultural Forces, Empowered Communities, Market Trends, Marketing, NEXT Trend Database, Quick Bites

Get out the vote: at the polls and in the grocery store

Awareness, activation and shared connection between brands, buyers and consumers has long helped fuel the growth of our industry. We’ve talked about it for years, the apparent consumer desire to vote with their wallets at the grocery store for brands with a clear mission, purpose and passion for solving health, social and environmental problems.

We wondered: Would this practice persist during a pandemic, given the high job insecurity, high unemployment and lower financial security this year?

Since early April, the NEXT Data & Insights team has been tracking consumer self-reported behaviors to see if the uncertainty of the pandemic was adversely affecting consumer drivers of industry growth. Among a broad sampling of U.S. consumers (not just natural and organic shoppers) we found is that consumer behaviors are still aligned with industry growth drivers. While there was a brief decline from baseline levels in the early stages of the pandemic, we’ve seen a strong and steady increase in these behaviors, even exceeding pre-pandemic baseline levels.

Looking more closely at the sub-components of the “eco-social consumer behavior index,” it’s evident environmental and social issues are of growing importance to consumers during the pandemic. Consumers report increasing willingness to pay more for products and brands practicing socially and environmentally responsible practices.

This is in line with results from a separate NEXT survey from the week of June 12, revealing that 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase from food brands that publicly stand for causes they believe in. Consumers want brands to take a stand on health, environmental and social issues.

We’ve said this before, but we look forward to the silver lining of these difficult times being increased consumer engagement in the natural and organic products industry and support for those brands using business as a force for good in the world.

On November 3rd, it’s time to vote with more than just your dollar. Help get the vote out! If you haven’t already, create a voting plan for yourself, give your employees time to make voting a priority, contribute to the conversation around the importance of voting with your community, with your team and on social media.

If you’d like to see how NEXT can help assess, monitor, inspire or inform your strategy during these difficult times, let’s schedule time to talk!

And for a look at the trends that have taken shape this year, along with listings of innovative brands taking a stand, the NEXT Trend Guidebook 2020 has you covered!