A Nielsen study of consumer goods found that it’s not broad categories that are drawing shoppers to products, but specific needs. The results highlight an opportunity for industry companies to help end buyers connect with their audiences through products that have targeted attributes and characteristics.

Nielsen notes that its findings on shoppers’ habits in regard to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) align with data it collected. Forty-four percent of consumers say that food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities affect the way they shop, 67 percent want to know everything that goes into the food they buy and 46 percent say that claims on food products have a direct influence on their purchase decisions.

To illustrate how personalized products that meet specific needs are outpacing broad categories, Nielsen gives ice cream as an example. In 2017, the ice cream category turned in revenue growth of 2.3 percent. However, revenue growth among ice cream that qualified as a good source of protein—three percent of category sales—turned in revenue growth of 53 percent. Similarly, ice cream with sugar substitutes—18 percent of category sales—showed revenue growth of 28 percent; ice cream that qualified as a good source of fiber—four percent of category sales—turned in revenue growth of 89 percent; and revenue growth of ice cream marked as healthy by the FDA—2.5 percent of category sales—was up 46.5 percent.

In its analysis on product trends place in marketer’s thinking, Nielsen says, “Knowing which product attributes are resonating with consumers, however, are only part of the overall picture. Manufacturers and retailers also need to know which consumer groups are actively engaged with certain attributes, as well as where those groups live. Staying within our ice cream example, let’s look at consumers seeking additional fiber in their households. Across the general population, consumers seeking ice cream qualifying as a good source of fiber are 34 percent more likely to live in a cosmopolitan center, 31 percent more likely to be Hispanic and two percent more likely to have children between the ages of 6 and 12.”