The majority of consumers have experienced going to a grocery store and finding an item on their list is out of stock. Do they go to another store to purchase the product (which would be a loss of a sale for the original store)? Or do they substitute another brand or similar product (a win-win for the retailer and chosen manufacturer)? It’s important for companies to be mindful of consumers’ actions in order to pinpoint who is likely to be a product loyalist, a brand loyalist, or a non-loyalists – who is more willing to swap out their food and beverage purchases.

We asked the following question across our polling network in order to identify and compare “product loyalists,” “brand loyalists,” and “non-loyalists”:

Out of stock - topline

After collecting over 6,000 U.S. adult responses from April 10, 2015 to June 22, 2015, we can see that 86% of consumers have experienced an out of stock situation for a grocery item they wanted. Of those (excluding the 14% who say they’ve rarely or never experienced this), here’s how we categorized them:

Out of stock - segment definitions

We found a number of interesting insights when comparing the groups’ demographics, health and fitness behaviors, shopping habits, and entertainment and media consumption. Here are a few things we learned:

Demographics differences when compared to the general U.S. adult population

  • Product loyalists are 19% more likely to be grandparents.
  • Brand loyalists are slightly more likely (+14%) to be 18-29 years old.
  • Non-loyalists are 20% more likely to be Millennials.

Psychographic differences between the three consumer groups

  • Product loyalists are more aware of their nutritional health and into food quality and non-GMOs than the others.
  • Brand loyalists have the most fitness-oriented habits. They not only care about the brand they purchase, but also the company behind the brand.
  • Non-loyalists seem to be more price conscious when it comes to their food spending and they spend more time on social media sites and watch more TV content via online streaming than the other groups.

Our full report offers a more detailed look at how the product loyalists, brand loyalists, and non-loyalists compare. It also touches on what drives new brand experimentation among adults since the majority of adults (81%) try new, lesser-known products.

View the full report online.