Product of the Year finds the emotions driving sales

Consumer survey shows the emotional reasons for sales

Product of the Year has identified the key emotions that have been behind driving sales over the past 12 months in retail in a new consumer poll.                                                                                                                                              Photo Credit: Tim Douglas

WHILE there will be plenty of consumers cutting back on their shopping trips due to the cost-of-living crisis, emotions can still drive dings at the till.

That’s the case from Product of the Year who reckons it has found the key emotions that motivate consumers to make a purchase, even when feeling the financial woes following new research conducted by Kantar on behalf of the firm.

On top of the added dopamine hit consumers get from their shop, consumers has said that Value (56%), Comfort (37%) and Love (23%) have been the main drivers behind purchases over the last year, according to Kantar data.

Consumers have been turning to more retail therapy as a way to chase away the gloom a lot over the past year, treating themselves to that extra expenditure that might not be in the budget, but feels too good to resist.

Other buying motivations that have topped the list for this year have included loyalty, curiosity, brands that demonstrate ethical qualities, nostalgia and endorsement from a friend or family.

When asked about trying a new FMCG product for the first time, consumers said they prioritised gut health with 37% of respondents agreeing, a noticeable rise from 2023 when it sat at just 31%.

Interestingly enough, the Product of the Year report found that there was a dip in demand for plant-based products, down two percentage points from last year to 17%.

However, this could be down to more omnivorous consumers moving away from the options as the cost-of-living crisis bites, rather than an outright rejection of the vegan diet.

Nicki Morley, head of behavioural science at Kantar, said: “The biggest growth group in the plant-based market is omnivores. People who aren’t fully veggie, but who are looking to eat less meat for health reasons and the planet.

“In addition, when an omnivore has a negative taste experience with a meat-free product, they avoid the whole category for, on average, a year!  This could contribute to the drop in numbers.”

But ultimately, when it came to buying a product, consumers voted that loyalty was key with 65% of respondents stating that they would be more likely to buy a well-known/reputable brand.

49% said they looked for those items that would have a positive impact on health and wellbeing and 36% said they were looking for something new and how innovative the product was in the market.

The motivations here have been reflected in Product of the Year’s winners for 2024, with a clear focus on more health items making it onto consumers’ top choices from the past 12 months.

Helga Slater, managing director at Product of the Year, said: “Insights like those revealed in our research show how important emotions are to every sale.

“Consumers care more than ever about their health, the environment, animal welfare and many other factors, and every year we see brands stepping up to meet those needs in highly innovative and creative ways.”