How Politics Can Shape Our Grocery Shopping Behavior



Although they wave the same American flag, Democrats and Republicans often hold clashing opinions on a seemingly infinite number of issues, such as immigration, health care reform, and global warming. Knowing someone’s political identity makes it easy to predict which side they’ll adopt in these debates. But can this information also be used to predict which products shoppers will buy at the grocery store?


To explore this idea, InfoScout identified over 3,000 panelists who agreed to share their data on the celebrities and public figures they follow on Facebook. Panelists who follow liberal pages like Hillary Clinton were coded as Democrats; Trump followers were coded Republican. Afterwards, we compared the purchase behavior of the Democrats and Republicans using our Household Affinity report. This tool helps us determine which brands and categories most strongly differentiate the two shopper groups.


Below, we summarized our findings according to which brands/categories are disproportionately bought by either Democrat and Republican households, as well as the magnitude of this effect (i.e. higher numbers represent greater political skew). Percentages were determined by calculating the relative ratios of Liberal and Conservative households purchasing a particular brand or category. Specifically, we divided the % of Liberals buying and the % of Conservatives buying, with the higher percentage in the numerator. The values can be interpreted as, “Liberals are 37% more likely to have purchased a Kashi product in the past year compared to Conservatives.”


The data suggest that progressive and traditional values extend not only to our political beliefs, but to our grocery baskets as well. Republican households tended to buy family-oriented brands (such as Malt-o-Meal and Capri Sun) as well as traditional American foods (like white bread and sugar cookies). By contrast, Democrats tended to over-index on products that are positioned as more healthful and organic, such as Kashi and kale. Democrats also skewed towards products that are more culturally diverse, like flatbread, jalapeños, and mangos.


Finally, we also found that the Altoid mints brand was among the top “bipartisan products”. In other words, Altoids are purchased at nearly identical rates between Democrats and Republicans. Perhaps the greatest lesson learned from this exercise is that true political cooperation may finally be achieved by focusing on what makes us similar rather than different from each other. This summer, consider reaching across the aisle and offering your fellow American a cool, refreshing mint.

100 Million Shopping Trips and Counting



ORLANDO, FL – November 4th, 2015 – InfoScout announced today at THE Market Research Event that it has processed 100,000,000 shopping receipts submitted by consumers using the company’s portfolio of mobile apps.


“When we launched our first app in 2012, our goal was to leverage the full benefits of smartphones to rethink what a consumer purchase panel should be like in the 21st century,” said Jon Brelig, co-founder and CTO. “By developing a portfolio of apps that engage diverse types of people with unique experiences, we’ve been able to quickly build the largest and most representative panel in America.”


InfoScout now processes more than 300,000 shopping trips per day across all retailers, in-store and online – more than legacy panel providers capture in an entire month. In addition, the company will soon surpass 100,000 yearlong ‘static’ panelists – 50% more than their nearest competitor.


“In the two-years I’ve been working with InfoScout, I’ve been impressed by their rapid growth – not only in their panel size, but also in the number of clients whose brands they help grow,” said Joan Lewis, Procter & Gamble’s recently retired SVP of Consumer and Market Knowledge. “In my nearly 30 years in the insights industry, InfoScout has brought the most innovative solutions and fastest growth in individual-level insights.”


In the last year, InfoScout has added more than 50 retailer and consumer goods clients leveraging its InfoScout Insights™ analytics platform, consulting services, and in-the-moment triggered surveys to derive deeper shopper and consumer insights.


According to Jared Schrieber, InfoScout’s co-founder and CEO,

“It’s no coincidence that our 100-millionth receipt was an e-receipt from, of a digital format book, about a sci-fi future, sold for ‘free’ through a Prime subscription. Retail is changing rapidly and this receipt is indicative of the macro-waves we are riding to disrupt a monopolized industry that’s sought profits over progress for far too long.”


As part of this milestone, the team dug into the 100,000,000 receipts and found some intriguing metrics. Here is a sample of them:

iPhone versus Android: What Your Phone Says About Your Shopping Habits

The phone you carry says a lot about you.  Some might argue that the sparkly sequinned case you have around your phone says even more, but here at InfoScout, we promise to never judge you.  We will, however, leverage our panel of 250K mobile-powered participants to explore the relationship between phone choice and purchase behavior.

We recently attended a conference where a retailer claimed that 80% of their shoppers had iPhones based upon the web traffic they see by mobile device type.   Rather than using website visits as a proxy for in-store visits, we decided to quickly measure the real-world shopping behavior of our consumer panelists.  With the understanding that the average American is 12% more likely to be carrying an Android phone than an iPhone, we were able to determine the following:


Smartphones Preference, Fast Food


It shouldn’t be a surprise that restaurants and grocery stores that cater to more affluent buyers are more likely to see iPhone carriers making purchases.


Smartphones Preference, Grocery


Smartphone Split


We also analyzed the iPhone and Android breakouts in head-to-head comparisons of top stores within a few retailer channels.


Understanding shoppers’ phone preference is just the tip of the iceberg for InfoScout.  In addition to our real-time visibility into purchases across all categories and channels, we collect demographic, psychographic, and survey data to help us build the most comprehensive understanding of US shoppers, their buying behavior, and the motivations driving their actions.


 About our data:

This blog study includes data taken from over 7-million receipt submissions by 150,133 iPhone users and 108,673 Android users of InfoScout’s Shoparoo and Receipt Hog mobile apps. Special thanks to the team at App Annie for helping us normalize the ratio of iPhone-to-Android phone users in our panel to the true census ratios reflected in this study.  To learn more about InfoScout’s data and solutions please visit

Holiday Spending Jumps 29% among Online Shoppers

Forget Cyber Monday, this Thanksgiving weekend online shoppers eschewed packed parking lots, doorbusting brawls and languishing lines to kick-off the holiday shopping season.   Early data from nearly 40,000 Americans* who share their e-commerce shopping activity with InfoScout indicates that online sales are up 29% from Thanksgiving and Black Friday one year ago.


Which online retailers are leading the pack?  Among the four largest sites we’re tracking in real-time this weekend, Amazon has a clear lead with nearly 41% share – a slight gain from last year.   While Walmart’s overall e-commerce sales appear to be up from a year ago, the brick-and-mortar giant’s share of cyber sales is slightly down versus is its biggest online competitors.  By contrast, BestBuy is rapidly gaining virtual ground thanks to a well executed Cyber Savings campaign that includes free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  Meanwhile, eBay continues its “Countdown to Cyber Monday” campaign which is effectively giving their competitors a three-day head-start in the race for consumers’ limited dollars this holiday season.


With overall online sales up 29% this Black Thursday & Friday, it begs the question of whether online shoppers are going online earlier this year, or whether they are shifting their spend from physical retail to e-commerce.  By studying both the online and offline purchases reported by Amazon’s holiday shoppers, InfoScout found that their Black Thursday & Friday spend in stores dropped 38% year-over-year to $153.43.  Meanwhile, their average spend at grew 67% to $83.27.  If this trend continues, Amazon’s loyal shoppers will spend more on next Black Friday than they will in all brick-and-mortar retailers combined!


Data methodology:
InfoScout’s 40,000 Omnichannel Panelists provided real-time visibility into their Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping both online and in-store.  The data in this study includes purchases at all major e-commerce sites including Amazon, Walmart, eBay, BestBuy, Target, Apple (and more) by 8,793 panelists who also reported their online shopping activity to InfoScout more than one year ago.  The margin of error in the market share analysis is <2% absolute.   The confidence intervals for Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, and eBay in the market share analysis in 2014 are ±2.78%,±2.61%,±2.48%, and±0.9%,  respectively.  The 95% confidence interval for the first chart on normalized $ spent is ±8.26 for the year 2014.   For more information related to InfoScout’s panel representation and data, visit our data page.