Allergies and food intolerance – how they affect shopping July 13, 2015

Allergies and food intolerance – how they affect shopping

According to our panel, consumers with food allergies and intolerances have their work cut out when it comes to food shopping. Trying to avoid ingredients and keep the cost down are the two big issues they face. Grocery shopping for this group is more time consuming because of the level of research needed to ensure they are buying the right products. Having to check things constantly is frustrating. Says one panel member…”it’s just label reading, label reading, label reading!”.

When the labels are clear, things are easier, such as in the case of more common allergies such as nut and gluten. However, the other big issue for this group is cost and with many gluten free products being two or three times more expensive, it’s a real barrier for them. One member describes their gluten-free breakfast cereal as a “rare treat” because of the price. Others mention cutting out particular foods from their diet because the version they would need to buy is just too pricey.

So, taking these issues into account, how do they affect the way consumers buy food products? For a start brand switching is lower among this group, who not surprisingly prefer to stick to tried and tested brands and products in order to cut down on time spent researching as well as the assurance that they know they can eat what they buy. As one respondent puts it, “rarely do I experiment because I prefer my current health than addressing an allergic reaction”. This is a group of nervous shoppers. Even when labels contain lists of ingredients, not all of them believe it and are reluctant to try anything new, for fear of it setting off a reaction. Gaining the trust of this group is key to achieving success with them and getting them to buy your products.

A sub group of those with allergies and food intolerances is taking a different approach to food shopping. Rather than buying into the health food category, they are instead going back to basics, buying fresh ingredients, and cooking everything from scratch; including everyday items such as stocks, bread and even yoghurt. Taking the approach that “fresh is best” saves them money and guarantees that they know exactly what is in everything they eat. For this group the peace of mind achieved and money saved is worth the extra effort involved.

If you’d like to know more please contact us at:

Our latest thinking

April 11th, 2024
AI or Authentic Insights

As a market researcher, one of my roles has been to train colleagues and clients in how to generate deep, useful insights. Anyone who has worked in research knows that getting beyond the data and identifying meaning is a critical skill and what sets insight apart from simple information. It...

Read more
September 13th, 2022
Why brand goodness is important

In a trend that has emerged over the past few years, more and more brands are jostling to position themselves not just as products and services, but as responsible citizens. At the same time, consumers have become more focused on the impact that the brands they purchase have on the world, whether...

Read more
August 05th, 2022
COVID-19 and the Great Resignation

The COVID-19 pandemic turned many aspects of our lives upside down. One of the biggest disruptions was to how we worked.Frontline workers bore the brunt putting in shift after shift in our busy hospitals, supermarkets and essential services.Those who work in hospitality, retail and tourism among...

Read more
May 25th, 2022
Is the Australian Dream still a reality?

One of the hottest issues of the 2022 election was home ownership. All sides of politics put forward new policies to address calls to make buying a house more achievable.This issue is nothing new: buying a home has been a hot topic on Edentify’s Café Chat for a while now. We asked...

Read more