Meet the Needs of Your Shoppers: Three Trends to Act on Now

Meet the Needs of Your Shoppers: Three Trends to Act on Now

July 28, 2021
Retail Industry Insights

Trends are always changing in the nutrition and retail space, but this has been even more accelerated over the past 18 months. These rapid changes can be challenging to keep up with, so Quaker Oats is here to help! Below are some of the newest statistics on consumer behaviors and thought starters to help you use them – and oats – to engage with shoppers.

Shoppers Continue to Seek Health Benefits from Food & Nutrients

According to the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2021 Food & Health Survey, weight management, energy and digestive health are the most common benefits shoppers seek from the food or nutrients they consume. The most sought-after food and nutrients include protein (62%), fiber (56%), vitamin D (56%), calcium (52%) and whole grains (51%). Additionally, people are trying to get most of their nutrients from food rather than supplements, with fiber topping this list (92%).

Connect with Shoppers

Host “food of the week” live social media videos to highlight popular foods, their nutrients and health benefits, and tips to incorporate them into meal and snacks. Oats, for example, are 100% whole grain, a source of fiber and can help support weight management, digestive health and more. Demonstrate how easily oats can be used in smoothies or no-bake snacks like energy balls.

Morning Motivation Spurs Healthy Behaviors

According to a 2020 Hartman report, morning eating occasions – breakfast meals or morning snacks – have become the time of day when people are more likely to be focused on health (39% - 49% of morning eating occasions). Additionally, 52% of morning eating activities involve functional foods or beverages.

Connect with Shoppers

Use traditional media, blog posts or newsletters to provide shoppers with easy seasonal breakfast options that will spice up and streamline their morning routines. For example, overnight oats can be prepared the night before for an easy morning and offer endless flavor combinations. Use this helpful resource to help shoppers get creative with their morning oats.

Food Insecurity Has Grown

IFIC reports that approximately 40% of Americans have experienced some level of food security in the past year and, due to this, they purchased less healthy food that they would have liked to, bought less food overall, worried about having enough food and had to wait to buy food in order to pay for other expenses. Three-quarters of these Americans attribute at least part of this scarcity to the pandemic and two in five say the pandemic is a significant reason. A recent Feeding America report supports this, sharing that the economic recession associated with the pandemic ended years of declining rates of food insecurity (in 2019, food insecurity was the lowest it had been in more than 20 years). The brief projects that 43 million Americans will experience food insecurity in 2021 – up from 35 million pre-pandemic.

Connect with Shoppers

Help shoppers build healthy, low-cost menus by providing meal ideas that use products featured in weekly circulars, along with other affordable and nutritious foods. Partner with local food pantries and WIC or SNAP offices to provide a free event on affordable nutrition featuring nutritious, low-cost foods, like oats (results from a 2019 study found oatmeal to be one of the most cost-effective source of whole grains). The event can include a store tour that highlights affordable healthy food options and provides tips to save at your store. Work with category managers to provide coupons or free product to attendees, then share recipes or meal solutions that use these ingredients.

For more resources to help you engage with your shoppers, or to sign up for Oats Digest, Quaker’s e-newsletter, visit


  1. International Food Information Council. 2021 Food & Health Survey. May 19, 2021.
  2. Hartman Group. Eating Occasions 2020. January 2021.
  3. Feeding America. The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity in 2020 & 2021. March 2021.
  4. Fulgoni III VL, Brauchla M, Fleige L, Chu YF. Oatmeal-Containing Breakfast is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Higher Intake of Key Food Groups and Nutrients Compared to Other Breakfasts in Children. Nutrients 2019 Apr 27;11(5).