5 Emerging Consumer Trends Impacting Marketers: July 2014

Welcome to our inaugural Trends Tracker report, a monthly briefing on consumer trends that are likely to have a big impact for marketers.

At SurveyMonkey Audience, we’re big on data. With millions of consumers ready to take surveys, we’re in a unique position to take the pulse of the American public on a large range of issues. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Blueshift Research, an investment research firm, to track how shifting opinions and behavior are shaping the American marketplace.

With our Trends Tracker, businesses and investors can stay in front of developments that might make the difference between big wins and big losses. For our first consumer trends survey, we surveyed 1,087 US consumers on 20 topics, including voting, home buying, technology, TV services, drug laws, and medical robots. Blueshift Research analyzed the data and wrote up their findings on how these trends affect businesses and investors.

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See what consumers think about home buying, voting, technology, and more!

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So, what’s in the report? Here are five highlights:

  • Cable TV vs. the Internet: 1.2% of respondents abandoned Cable TV in July.
  • Marijuana Legalization: 42% of Americans support the full legalization of marijuana.
  • Residential Solar Power: Low income families are the most likely to adopt solar power in the next six months.
  • Genetically Modified Foods: Half of respondents oppose GMOs. 82% want them labeled.
  • Healthy Eating: 71% of adults are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago.

Here’s a deeper look at the month’s biggest consumer trend. To see all our findings, download the report.

This month’s biggest trend: Healthy living habit are disrupting the food industry

The food industry is poised for a major shift as increased focus on healthy living habits are changing consumer behavior. Over the past six months, more than three times the number of consumers report improved living habits compared to those whose attention to healthy has decreased.healthy-habitsAs a result, demand for healthy dishes and fresh ingredients is on the rise—threatening fast food companies that don’t adapt their menus to include healthier choices. This trend is also rewarding chains like Chipotle, whose long-standing approach to having a healthier menu is fueling rapid growth. Part of this shift in consumers’ healthy living habits is the desire for genetically modified organism (GMO) foods to be labeled and the refusal to purchase GMO products. About half of respondents oppose GMO foods, and 82% want GMO foods labeled.gmo-foodsAnd if you think this trend only exists among young people, you’d be wrong. Respondents aged 60 and older proved to be more opposed to GMO foods than their younger counterparts. More surprisingly, wealthy households are not leading this trend. Conventional wisdom would suggest that high prices of organic foods would discourage lower income households from purchasing non-GMO foods, but our survey says the opposite. Households with incomes lower than $100,000 were more likely to buy non-GMO products than households making more than $100,000.

Blueshift Research predicts that companies that have enacted (or are in the process of enacting) GMO bans will be the biggest winners from this developing trend, which include Whole Foods, General Mills, and Chipotle. Conversely, biotechnology companies that produce GMO seeds are expected to suffer as demand rises for organic foods. But we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with this trend.

Check out the free report here to get in-depth analysis on more trends affecting issues like voting behavior, home buying, drug laws, technology usage, and more!

Want to take the pulse of your own audience? Contact us to get your own custom insights for your business today.