An article in this weeks Grocer entitled ‘Counter culture: Inside shopping demographics’ sparked a number of conversations in the office today.

You can read the full article here:

The article primarily discusses the myth many of us hold true about different demographics – e.g. Older people are not so comfortable with the internet and the very young are connected 24/7 and use the world wide web to satisfy their various needs.

The reality is actually quite the opposite.

In fact, the older generation are not just embracing the internet, they are discovering it is invaluable. Particularly when ordering the weekly shop – less hassle, no travel and most importantly, no laborious lugging, loading & unloading.

Students on the other hand tend to shop more sporadically. Lack of suitable storage space in shared student houses often dictates how much they can actually purchase – often less than than a minimum order from a supermarket online offering.

So here is the elephant: 

  • 30% of the UK is over 50 years old.
  • this same 30% holds 80% of the wealth in the country.

Furthermore, it looks like these guys are migrating over to the dark side of grocery shopping where they don’t even need to set foot in a store.

So what does this mean for brands?

At Hotcow, we work with brands to create programs that drive consumer trial and awareness. We know that if consumers try your product, they will likely go on to purchase.

But if your target audience are staying away from the supermarket entrance, where and how are brands supposed to engage with consumers? 

The answer is to widen the net and look at creating a sampling strategy that looks beyond the supermarket alone.

Brands need to look more closely at how often they sample at leisure events & destinations.

Brands need to again look closely at how memorable their sampling activities are – what impression do they want their target audience to leave with is sip sampling the best way to be memorable and inspire people to talk enthusiastically about your product?

Leisure based destinations benefit from a different consumer mindset – people are out there to have a good time. This is a choice, not a weekly chore.

So tap into this mindset and create experiences that fit in with the focus of the day – by this we mean the consumer focus – not yours!

If you are appealing to the over 50’s, you need to really develop experiences that speak to that audience – this is the great thing about targeting sampling at a leisure based destination, than say a supermarket or high street. You can predict the target audience with a greater degree of accuracy.

At Hotcow we have designed consumer engagement programmes that target the people we need to talk to. We don’t waste time speaking with and handing out samples to people who don’t want your product.

So if you want to plan for the future, you need to understand where your customers are going to be. If the point of purchase is going to increasingly be in front of a computer screen – you need to find ways to drive trial elsewhere.

Hotcow is a multi-award winning Experiential Marketing agency. We get brands in front of consumers in ways that persuade them to buy. We fully implement our ideas; nothing needs to be farmed out. For more information or free consultation, contact us


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