Month: May 2023


5 Gen Z Food Trends to Know

  • May 17, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Born between 1997-2012, right after the Millenials, the Generation Z audience ranges in age from 10-25. While young, this audience represents about one-third of the U.S. population and has a significant influence on the U.S. economy.  In 2022 alone, the spending power of the Gen Z audience rose to $360B

This audience is a diverse and tech-savvy group and because of the amount of information at their fingertips, they are also informed. Before they make a purchase, they research, ask their friends, or ask their wider online network. This also applies to what Gen Z chooses to eat. For food products to appeal to the Gen Z consumer, manufacturers need to understand this audience’s food preferences and eating habits. Here are the 5 trends that point to what the Gen Z audience is looking for when they make their food purchasing decisions. 

  1. Snacks Rise to the Top

Instead of the 3 square meals a day mantra that older generations grew up with, Gen Z prefers to eat short meals and eat more frequent snacks throughout the day. While the Gen Z audience tends to choose more healthy options overall, the top-rated snack brands in this group are Lay’s, Cheetos, Doritos, and General Mills’ Nature Valley. 

  1. Less Meat

According to a study by investment banking company Piper Sandler, nearly half of Gen Z respondents stated they are already consuming or plan to consume more plant-based meat products. Gen Z has an increased reception to a vegan lifestyle than older audiences, and brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have established themselves as leaders in the plant-based meat space with Gen Z. The adoption of plant-based meat alternatives at fast food restaurants is a result of the influence of the younger Gen Z audience. 

  1. Sustainability

For the Gen Z audience, environmental sustainability is one of the top political and economic issues of the moment. According to a study by Food Insight, one-third of Gen Z consumers stated that sustainability had an impact on their decisions to buy food and beverages. Half of the respondents agreed that their individual choices had an impact on the environment. 

In the food industry, sustainability starts with the processes involved with production. When it comes to restaurants, buying from local suppliers has a major impact on the carbon footprint of each dish. The Gen Z audience wants to know where their food comes from and how it is produced. 

  1. Healthy Eating is a Priority

The amount of information on healthy eating is higher than ever before. And social media platforms often feature content that promotes nutritious and fresh food. The Gen Z audience is also aware of eating food to boost their physical and mental health, especially with a focus on digestive and gut health. They are on the lookout for menu items made with fresh, organic, and sustainable ingredients. 

  1. Street Food

Perhaps inspired by the rise of the social media-friendly meal, the Gen Z audience has street fare on their radar. A recent study by Technomic revealed that 42% of Gen Z respondents stated they look for street food-inspired dishes on restaurant menus. The convenience and the discovery of new flavors draw Gen Z to street food, and they especially love food trucks that often serve this type of cuisine. 

While open to trying new flavors and cuisines, the Gen Z audience is a demanding group of eaters. As they get older, securing their loyalty will be essential to food service providers.

Stay up-to-date on the food industry on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from general consumers and heads of household who make purchasing decisions on food and grocery purchases. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


How Mission-Driven B2C Brands Can Connect with Consumers

  • May 17, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

In the not-too-distant past, B2C brands have often opted to stay neutral on controversial issues to avoid alienating any part of their audience. But times have changed and many consumers have turned their backs on B2C brands that intentionally choose to stay quiet on social and political issues. A recent study by Accenture reveals that the deterioration of consumer trust can negatively affect a brand’s competitiveness and potentially cost billions of dollars in revenue. 

But audiences are looking for more than just a brand sharing an opinion on Twitter– socially-conscious consumers are making it clear that they expect companies to make a meaningful commitment to the causes that their core audiences care about. Because of this trend, the term ‘brand purpose’ has become an important benchmark in marketing for B2C brands looking to capture and cultivate loyalty from their audiences. 

So how do B2C brands weave social responsibility into their messaging and their internal practices without alienating audiences that can suss out a lack of commitment? And how can it make an impact on their bottom line while also helping to create change for the environment and society in general? 

Authenticity is Key

In order to get on the right path, B2C brands need to approach social activism in a genuinely authentic way, not just as a marketing ploy. Audiences can easily recognize when B2C brands are trying to use cause marketing as a way to inflate profits when there is no evidence of a company actually trying to help a cause or when a brand’s actions do not align with the causes that they have publicly stated they support. 

Audiences are savvy, and it makes sense for B2C brands to weave purpose, meaning, and thoughtful social values into their messaging. Consumers want to know that the brands they support share their values more than ever. 

Transparency is also an important component in building an authentic message, especially with younger audiences. When B2C brands are transparent, it leads to higher engagement and a deeper connection between brands and their audiences. 

B2C brands need to invest in their storytelling– they need to make sure that their audiences understand who their work benefits and why. This is where real stories with real people need to be communicated to audiences. 

The Numbers Tell the Story of Social Responsibility 

A NielsenIQ corporate social responsibility survey found that 55% of global respondents stated that they are willing to pay extra for products and services from B2C brands that are committed to making a positive social and environmental impact.  B2C brands that are known for their socially-minded values are top drivers for purchasing decisions. 

Social responsibility also resonates with employees– a recent study revealed that those who engage in corporate giving programs tend to stay with their companies longer. 

Leveraging Market Research to Connect with Socially-Minded Audiences

For B2C brands, knowing what causes their audiences care about is important. With so much competition, the brands that center their mission-focused messaging and back it up with action will come out on top. Investing in market research helps companies gain insights directly from their audiences. 

Working with an established research firm like Eyes4Research can help brands gather the data they need to learn more from socially-minded B2C audiences to supercharge their bottom line and keep their customers coming back

Read more about consumer behavior on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


4 Examples of Behavioral Economics in B2C Marketing

  • May 11, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Consumers probably think that they know exactly why they buy what they buy. The reality of how purchase decisions are made is more complicated, and research points to the idea that most decisions that humans make are the result of subconscious urges. 

Consumers are creatures of habit and instinct, making decisions on gut feelings, not so much employing rational considerations. This intersection of human nature and economics is where behavioral economics comes into play. 

What is behavioral economics? 

Behavioral economics studies psychological factors’ effect on consumers’ economic decision-making. The goal of behavioral economics is to more clearly understand consumers’ decision-making and to try ad predict human behavior in different situations. 

Consumer behavior can be influenced by things big and small, such as the political climate, or the amount of options someone has as they are deciding which product to buy. 

How is behavioral economics used in marketing? 

Behavioral economics studies how consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by factors that are seemingly unrelated to the product itself. These factors can be social, psychological, cognitive, or emotional. 

Pair this with B2C marketing, whose core principle is to ensure that a consumer chooses one brand over another, and it becomes clear that behavioral economics aids B2C marketing strategies by understanding more about how consumer decisions can be influenced. As a result, making small changes to a product, the branding, and what choices a brand offers can have a huge influence on consumer behavior. Here are 5 examples of behavioral economics being used in B2C marketing:

Everyone Loves Free

There is probably no word in B2C marketing more powerful than ‘free’. It is for that reason that we often see ‘Buy one, get one free’, and not “Buy one, get one 50% off’. Consumers know that logically they are the same thing, but nothing beats the thrill of seeing the word ‘free’. A sandwich shop offering a ‘buy one, get one’ special on National Sandwich Day is an oft-used example of behavioral economics. 

The Power of Social Proof

A more academic form of peer pressure, social proof is one of the most impactful tools in behavioral economics. It is defined as the tendency to be swayed by other people’s choices, especially in ambiguous circumstances. 

Consumers are more likely to buy products that are popular to gain social standing with their peers, which explains why consumers read online reviews to gauge how trustworthy a company is. Most consumers trust a B2C brand with lots of positive reviews. 

The Scarcity Illusion

Limited-edition products are a solid example of the power of scarcity in behavioral economics. Consumers will tend to place more value on a product if they think that there is only a limited amount available, or if there is a limited window of time available for them to buy the product before it becomes unavailable. 

The grocery chain Trader Joe’s collection of seasonal, limited-availability products has a near cult following, with products often quickly selling out, with help from social media buzz. 

Loss Aversion

Consumers are more afraid to lose something they have than gain something they didn’t have. It basically means that consumers will feel the regret of losing $20 more acutely than they feel the enjoyment of finding a $20 bill on the sidewalk. 

The loss aversion principle sets out to describe what a consumer will lose by not making a purchase. ‘Lightning deals’ are an example of behavioral economics being employed in B2C marketing. These are discounted offers that last only for a very short period of time, encouraging consumers to make purchase decisions quickly, to avoid missing out. 

Read more about consumer behavior on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


5 Ways AI Can Change Retail As We Know It

  • May 9, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Like other industries, retail is under pressure to adopt new technologies to stay competitive. AI is just one example of the tools that the retail industry can employ to sharpen customer service, refine the customer experience, better manage inventory, and most importantly, boost sales. Here are 5 ways that AI can shake up the retail industry. 

  1. Improving In-Store Customer Assistance

Many retailers have already invested in AI-driven technology that can assist their customers while shopping in person in their stores, as well as help their employees quickly answer questions on the sales floor. UK retailer John Lewis started using a shop floor app in 2017 that allows its employees to access information about products and stock availability on the spot. 

Some retailers are even already using robots to assist their in-store customers. Lowe’s has an autonomous robot called Lowebot that helps navigate customers through stores and is able to help customers find products in multiple languages. This also helps the company keep track of inventory in real-time. 

  1. Cashier–Free Stores

The increasing presence of robots in stores helps diminish time spent waiting in lines, reduces the number of employees needed, and dramatically saves money on the operational costs of retailers. 

The AI that is already in place at Amazon Go stores allows customers to pay for items just by walking out the door. Customers receive a receipt at a later date, with their Amazon accounts being charged for their purchases. These AI-driven supermarkets operate with only 6-10 employees per location. 

  1. Enabling Visual Product Search

AI has opened up the possibilities of visual search for retailers, allowing their customers to open up visual search by uploading images to find identical or similar products. In this application, AI closely analyzes an image, taking note of color, shape, and patterns to identify an item. 

Some retailers, like American Eagle, have taken this technology a step further, by offering customers recommendations on what to pair with the items that they have searched, like accessories or shoes.

  1. Eliminating Overstock and Out-of-Stocks

Excesses in supply or being caught with a short supply can affect the bottom line of retailers and costs companies about $1.1 trillion each year. Leftover stock is often marked down and leads to low sales turnover. An out-of-stock situation leads to lost sales and unhappy customers who can easily turn to a competitor to get the product they are looking for. 

AI can help retailers with restocking by identifying demand for a certain product by tracking metrics such as location, sales history, weather, and trends. This allows companies to present a build-up of underperforming products, stock what customers are likely to buy, reduce returns and ultimately save money. 

  1. Predicting and Influencing Customer Behavior

A new class of AI technology allows retailers to leverage insights into consumer behavior and reach their customers with an individual approach. These new platforms analyze consumer psychology and emotions to encourage purchases. 

This technology works by using an algorithm to analyze consumers’ emotional responses and behavioral patterns during previous shopping sessions and generates optimal pricing offers and incentives for each shopper. Using this behavioral data, brands can produce individual recommendations and increase revenue. 

How Can Market Research Help Brands Optimize AI?

In retail, tending to and anticipating consumers’ wants and needs is just as important as an airtight operational process. With so much competition in the retail landscape, the brands that prioritize their customer will come out on top. Investing in market research helps companies gain insights directly from their customers. 

Working with an established research firm like Eyes4Research can help brands gather the data they need to learn exactly what AI platforms will supercharge their bottom line and keep their customers coming back

Read more about the retail industry and AI on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


4 Ways Tourism is Becoming More Sustainable

  • May 4, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Environmentally-focused travelers have become more aware of the impact travel has on climate change, as well as on the places that they encounter on their trips. These are travelers who want to leave as light a footprint as possible on the planet while appreciating the cultures that they encounter. 

A growing share of the traveling audience is making sustainability a part of their travel decision-making process. A recent poll by YouGov found that 53% of the global travel audience stated that they intend to search for sustainable travel options in 2023. The same poll revealed that 53% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable vacations. To this end, the tourism industry is evolving to better serve the travel audience’s desire for more mindful vacations by reviewing their impact and finding new ways to address their global footprint. Here are 4 ways the tourism industry is becoming more sustainable for the travel audience. 

  1. Tourism Boards Become Stewards of Destinations

The backbone of the tourist industry, what is commonly called destination marketing organizations (DMOs), has become increasingly focused on not only attracting visitors but also encouraging the travel audience to engage in activities during their trips that will nurture the well-being of the communities that they visit. 

Some tourist organizations are even renaming themselves to ‘destination stewardship organizations, to reflect this shift in purpose. Destinations are guiding their futures in a way that prioritizes sustainable and regenerative tourism. Tourism board websites are starting to offer the travel audience ideas for activities and trip ideas that embrace responsible and sustainable travel options. 

  1. Promoting Trains Over Planes

It’s no secret that train travel is more environmentally friendly than traveling by plane. According to The Company of Biologists, trains emit about six times less GHG emissions than planes. More luxury travel companies are starting to weave train travel into their itineraries over airplanes. 

Train travel offers advantages that planes simply can’t provide, such as no limit on baggage, as well as allowing the travel audience to more fully experience their journeys and enjoy the landscape while en route to their destinations. 

  1. The Industry Pledges to Take Action

The tourism industry finds itself both uniquely vulnerable to the effects of climate change as well as being one of the contributors to greenhouse gas emissions that have helped fuel global warming. Many tourism companies are signing on to initiatives like the Glascow Declaration, which requires a decade-long commitment from travel organizations to tackle tourism climate action. Similar initiatives address operational processes and reevaluating food supply chains. 

  1. Embracing Slow Travel Itineraries 

The relatively new idea of slow travel, meaning staying longer in one destination, has seen an increased emphasis in the tourism industry. When travelers concentrate their explorations in one place for a longer period of time, it benefits both the environment as well as the traveler themselves. Staying in one or two central locations allows the traveler to develop a connection with the local people in a destination, instead of feeling as if they are just passing through. 

Tourism companies are encouraging the traveling audience to visit fewer locations and to take day trips, instead of moving constantly moving around during their vacations. Travelers want to get the most out of the investments they have made for their trips and see as much as possible. But the decreased, more intentional movement also lightens the carbon footprint left behind. 

Read more about the travel industry on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers in the travel audience. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


The Rumors of Print’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

  • May 3, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

The demise of the print industry in general and print advertising in particular has been
the subject of many discussions among business analysts, economists, and advertising
executives, which have even seeped into pop culture. One of the many running gags on
the immensely popular American sitcom The Office, was that the characters were
working in a dying industry (paper) and that it was only a matter of time before their jobs
were replaced by digital media. But is this entirely true?

There’s no doubt that digital advertising has taken hold of the overall advertising
industry, but print has held its ground and appears poised for a modest comeback. A
recent study conducted by Eyes4Research shows that 55% of the respondents agreed
or strongly agreed that digital ads targeted at specific interests are more effective than
other forms of advertising. Case closed, right? Well, not so fast. Another question from
the same study showed that 53% of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed
that they enjoy reading traditional mail ads, which includes flyers, brochures, catalogs,
and coupons. These numbers are important for brands that are looking for new ways, or
old in this case, to connect with their consumers. Brands that realize their customers
actually like to read “junk mail” before throwing it away, and know how to use that
knowledge in multi-channel marketing campaigns will be poised for success in the 21 st

Understanding and predicting future advertising trends can be difficult due to the
increasing complexity of the space. Omnichannel marketing, sonic branding, and digital and email advertising have all been successful to varying degrees, but trends show that
print will continue to occupy a valuable niche in the advertising/marketing space. It’s
become more apparent that print and digital advertising are not mutually exclusive and
brands’ use of different media doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. So let’s take a look
at the rise and fall, and rerise, of print advertising and examine what consumers can
expect in the 21 st century.

Advertising: Then and Now

Advertising has existed in one form or another since the first humans organized into
permanent communities and began practicing trade during the Neolithic Period more
than 5,000 years ago. When the first forms of writing were developed in Egypt and
Mesopotamia around 3100 BC, print advertising followed, written on either papyrus in
Egypt or clay tablets in Mesopotamia. Advertising from that point forward was far
different than it is today, largely due to the nature of the economic systems in the world
before the year 1500 AD. Economic decisions were made from the top down in pre-
modern societies, but after 1500, which is generally the year most historians consider
the beginning of the “modern era,” new technologies and philosophies combined to
change the nature of economics and advertising.

Two major developments that propelled the modern free enterprise/capitalist system,
and the advertising industry along with it, were the invention of moveable type
Gutenberg printing press in the 1400s and the paper making process in Europe in the
1300s. These advances allowed information to be disseminated quickly and uniformly, and before too long entrepreneurs in Britain began producing the first print ads. Private
businesses routinely paid for ads in newspapers in Europe and America from the 1600s
onward, so in 1869 Philadelphia based company N.W. Ayer and Son decided to take
advantage of the situation by becoming America’s first advertising firm in 1869. Print
advertising continued to be the preferred media of advertising, even after the invention
of the radio and television, but in the 1990s the advertising world experienced a major

The Rise of Digital Advertising

When the World Wide Web became available to the public in 1991, digital advertising
followed in its wake. Tech firms began investing more money in digital advertising, with
an annual decrease in traditional advertising of 1.4% reported between February 2012
and 2022, compared to an overall annual increase of 7.8% for all marketing budgets
during the same time. These numbers seem to suggest that print advertising may be in
demise, but the truth of the trend reveals that many experts are probably watching too
much of The Office and not paying attention to the situation on the ground.

Although it is true that newspaper readership has declined drastically overall, 70% of all
American households that make $100,000 or more in income still read newspapers, and
the outlook for print magazines is even better. One study indicated that 95% of people
under the age of 25 read magazines, while another study showed that the number of
magazine readers actually increased between 2017 and 2022. Experts have pointed out
that the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in the renewed interest in print, but there are a number of factors that suggest the trend will continue and brands should
take note.

The Rerising of Print Advertising

The numbers show that print advertising will continue to play an important role in the
future, especially with consumer-facing companies leading with the largest increase in
traditional advertising at 10%. In order to understand why this is taking place, it will help
to return to some of the samples from the Eyes4Research’s study cited at the beginning
of this article.

When asked if there’s too many personalized ads in their social media feeds, 57% of
the respondents said they either somewhat or strongly agreed, indicating that many
people are experiencing a digital overdose. To bolster this theory, 65% of the
respondents said they either somewhat or strongly agreed that online ads are too
repetitive. These results seem to suggest that although digital advertising was once
thought to be a fresh, new medium, it has become as stale as TV; but instead of
changing channels due to repetitive ads, consumers simply hit the “x” on their web

There are also other intangible factors that will keep print advertising relevant and
important for the foreseeable future. Print media and ads continue to be trusted by the
greater public, now more than ever, as politics has seeped into every corner of the
digital world and with it the stigma of “fake news.” People tend to trust print media more because of this stigma, which is sometimes associated with digital media, and people
also trust what they can physically touch. In addition to print media’s association with
trustworthiness, the ability to touch and feel flyers, brochures, and catalogs gives
consumers a physical “experience” and connection with a particular product, which is
another way for brands to connect with their customers.

Future Trends in Print Advertising

As brands begin to realize that print advertising is here to stay, expect some interesting
trends to happen. As we’ve seen already in recent years, brands will take out print ads
to proclaim their support for social causes in efforts to appeal to socially conscious
consumers. Another trend you may’ve already noticed is print ads, brochures, and
coupons using QR codes and URLs. Brands are doing this to gather data that allows
them to build more detailed analytics of their consumers, thereby making print
advertising an important link in a company’s omnichannel marketing campaign.

Although print advertising will continue to be important, spending on print ads is
projected to decrease across all media, which can actually be a benefit for both brands
and consumers. With less money to spend on print ads, brands will have to be more
efficient with their spending by learning what works better and what their consumers
want. Look for more streamlined print ads that are less “junky” and no nonsense, getting
straight to the point. After all, consumers’ time is as important as anyone else’s, and
brands that realize this will be able to make their print ad budgets more effective.

Today, the most successful brands are learning to diversify how consumers learn about
and connect with them. Often lost in the search for new marketing strategies and
technologies is the ancient art of print advertising. Studies show that brands that use
both digital and print advertising have a 400% increase in effectiveness, demonstrating
that print is far from done. Although digital advertising overtook print in the 2000s and
won’t relinquish its standing anytime soon, print advertising still has an important place
in the hearts and minds of most consumers, and brands need to remember this in their
marketing campaigns.