Search Terms Reflect A Change In Grocery Shelves

Finding keywords that speak to consumer preferences isn't easy. So if product categories shelved in center-store aisles have become more important, per a new Catalina study, then using product segment words to promote the items in paid search ads should become a key campaign driver.

The study doesn’t focus on keywords for search campaigns. The new report from Catalina, titled "The Center Store Revolution: Innovation Drives Trips and Category Growth," identifies the biggest subcategory for gains and losses.  It also shows that specific cross-category consumer preferences, like “Heart Healthy,” “Low-Fat,” “Trans-Fat Avoiders” and “GMO Avoiders,” are fueling the growth in new products and sales.

Most shoppers purchased items from center-store aisles in 2017.



Trans-Fat Avoiders” and “GMO Avoiders” continue to fuel the growth of some of the fastest-growing product subcategories, which means people are looking for these products in search queries.

Others include non-fat and low-fat ice cream, value-priced entrée frozen dinners, sparkling and seltzer water, ready-made coffee drinks, window and glass cleaners, fresh rolls, dried meat snacks, vinegar, value-priced bath tissue, and a variety of snack and candy subcategories. 

These types of products accounted for 60 annual trips per shopper, per store, down just one trip per shopper, per store compared with 2016. Nearly 100% of all shoppers frequented these aisles in 2017, spending an average of $1,408 a year. Some 81% of all shopping baskets at checkout included at least one of these items.

Changing motivations by consumers to live a healthier lifestyle continue to alter the types of products they purchase and the types of keywords in search queries. According to Google Trends, the term "heart healthy" has remained pretty consistent in terms of the number of searches for the past year. "Fat trans" spiked in March 2018, but vacillates.

The subcategory of non-fat, low-fat and lite ice cream grew 66.9% in dollar sales, while regular and premium ice cream declined 3.3%. The average shopper in this category spent $21.37.

Heart-healthy shoppers spent 2.7 times the average, or $56.76. Trans-fat avoiders spent an average of $52.19. Low-fat shoppers who bought spent $48.87. Natural-ingredient shoppers averaged of $46.99.

For sparkling and seltzer water, sales rose 14.8% and trips to the store for these product increased by 5.5%. The average shopper within the category spent $17.71, but Heart-healthy shoppers averaged $35.17 and low-glycemic Shoppers averaged $38.45.

Shoppers looking for natural foods spent $35.01. Paleo-conscious shoppers spent $33.77 and those avoiding GMO spend an average of $29.48.

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