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Research: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Score High with Affluent, Health-Conscious Consumers

Analysts and retailers understand consumer behavior during the global pandemic.




NUMERATOR, A DATA-AND-TECH company empowering market research, has launched a Retailer Resilience Score for “Life-on-Pause” consumers. These consumers are one of six consumer segments identified in a Numerator segmentation study of 70,000 verified shoppers; the study will be updated quarterly to help brands, analysts and retailers understand consumer behavior across all six segments given the dynamic nature of job security, financial security, health concerns and more during the global pandemic.

The Life-on-Pause segment is of particular interest as this group is financially stable (meaning they have money and are willing to spend it), but are also showing higher than average concern about health. This means they are more likely to switch shopping behaviors and are a valuable segment for retailers to target. They are also the largest segment at 19% of total households.

The analysis focuses on the index of Life-on-Pause consumers for specific retailer channels and specific retailers versus the average on two metrics: the percentage of household penetration and the percentage of spend. The difference between these two numbers results in the Retailer Resilience Score.

Life-on-Pause shoppers index at 103 as a percent of U.S. households for Target and at 114 as a percent of spend; this means these consumers are spending disproportionately at Target, giving Target a Retailer Resilience Score of 11). This study will be done in four waves (quarterly) with wave one based on analysis of March 1, 2020, to July 19, 2020, shopping behavior.

Other high-level findings from the analysis include:

  • The five channels best poised to benefit from the spend-ready Life on Pause segment include the Online, Liquor, Office, Craft, and Baby and Toy channels.
  • The five retail channels at most risk as Life on Pause consumers make choices to protect their health by limited trips and staying at home include Mass, Dollar, Department, Home Improvement stores, Gas and Convenience.
  • Walmart has the greatest risk with Life-on-Pause consumers in the Mass channel with a Retailer Resilience Score of negative 18. For comparison, Target has a Score of 11. In essence, Target is gaining more than its fair share of spend among the Life-on-Pause segment and is reaching fair share in terms of the % of HH’s shopping during the COVID-Recessionary period, while Walmart is losing ground.


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