Consumer Trends Revealed, Private Brand Leads The Way

BrandSpark International, along with Better Homes and Gardens, released the top shopper trends from the third annual Best New Product Award (BNPA) American Shopper Study, which surveyed more than 63,000 Americans from coast to coast, and touched on diverse topics including food, health and beauty, and mobile shopping. Highlights from this year’s survey include:


  • 8 in 10 consumers are looking for products that are healthy.
  • 5 in 10 Americans consider themselves to be overweight.
  • 7 in 10 consumers are trying to reduce their consumption of processed foods.
  • 6 in 10 consumers are looking for food products that can reduce the risk of major health issues.
  • 7 in 10 consumers are concerned about the amount of fat in their diet.

“We have seen much innovation over the past few years and can expect this trend to continue.  From a nutritional point of view, consumers are looking for food products that can help them stay healthy and prevent illness.  We can also expect to see continued focus on natural ingredients for food and continued attempts to help consumers eat healthier snacks and control their portion sizes,” said Robert Levy, President of BrandSpark International.


  • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans are consciously trying to buy foods that are local, an increase from 5 in 10 a year ago.
  • Many consumers consider food grown in their state as local. Local foods benefit from perceptions of both reduced environmental impact and improved freshness as well as consumers desire to help the local economies and support local farmers.


  • 87% of Americans are not under the care of a dermatologist, so consumers are looking to trusted sources and recommendations of others.
  • When purchasing beauty products consumers are looking for products that are well priced, simple to use and that are proven effective (the top 3 drivers).
  • Trust in the product is crucial and can be established by brand trust, by dermatologists’ recommendations, and consumer research that backs up claims.


  • 6 in 10 consumers consider private label over-the-counter health products as good as brand name, but only 4 in 10 believe the same for beauty products.
  • 5 in 10 shoppers believe the best new innovations come from brand name products and 4 in 10 also still consider themselves loyal to brand names.
  • 66% of shoppers believe private label products are usually extremely good value, while 66% also prefer purchasing brand name products when they are on sale rather than private label products.

Retailers should be mindful that the top 3 factors for consumers when shopping are: the products shoppers always need are in stock, the retailer has the freshest products and the shelves are clean and well organized.


  • The likelihood to try new products differs by category: over 8 in 10 consumers will try new food products without having received a recommendation, but only 5 in 10 tend to be first to purchase new beauty products.
  • 8 in 10 American shoppers will tell friends and family when they get a deal on something, while 6 in 10 shoppers are likely to buy a product that is recommended by others.
  • The importance of a trusted brand is high for all categories including Food, Health and Beauty and Household products.  The influence of the consumer’s mother or grandmother is paramount in establishing that connection with brands.


  • 1 in 3 American shoppers currently own smart phones. Making or storing shopping lists and downloading coupons are the most common shopping tasks performed on these devices.
  • 1 in 4 shoppers are likely to use coupons sent to their mobile device, including 40% of those 18 to 34 years.

The Top 2011 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards category winners are:

  • Best in Food & Beverage Category and Best in Show: Morey’s Fish Creations Prepared Seafood
  • Best in Health & Beauty Category: Olay Professional Pro X Intensive Firming Treatment
  • Best in Household Products Category: Febreze Destination Collection Air Freshener

The winning products were announced on January 18, 2011 and are featured online at  The winning products will appear in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens. For a complete list of all 42 winning products, representing a field of 139 products from over 55 manufacturers, visit

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.