Fitness Trackers, Fruits and Vegetables: The Impact of New Year’s Resolutions on Shopping Behavior

Seven in 10 shoppers have made a New Year’s resolution of some sort, according to an InfoScout survey of nearly 1,400 shoppers. In fact, the majority of shoppers have made at least four resolutions for 2018.

Not surprisingly, most of the focus of these New Year’s resolutions is around healthy living, and ranging from dieting to cooking to exercising. For those who are indeed trying to live a healthier lifestyle, what are they doing stick to their resolutions? How are their resolutions affecting their shopping behavior? Do people turn to fitness trackers to keep from falling off the wagon? Is there a correlation between fitness tracker ownership and shopping behavior? Let’s look at the data.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, and How Likely They Are to Stick

The clear, top four resolutions across all generations were to lose weight, improve finances, follow a healthier diet, and enjoy life more. On the next tier were the desire to get organized and spend more time with family and friends.

The vast majority of survey respondents to our InfoScout survey are very committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions. All generations are most committed to improving their finances, followed by losing weight and changing their diet.

More than eight in 10 respondents plan to stick with their New Year’s resolutions for more than six months. However, history has told us, and our survey data confirms, that most people don’t last that long with their resolutions.

More than half of shoppers in all generations will change their diet by relying on self-control and paying closer attention to what they eat. Digging deeper into the generational breakdown, we see that different generations will take different approaches to healthier eating.

Boomers are likely to go the traditional diet route and opt for low-carb and low-fat foods. Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to focus on natural foods with a vegetarian, vegan or Paleo diets.

Fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are the clear winners among shoppers who want to eat healthier in 2018, followed by seafood, poultry and lean cuts of meat.

How Fitness Trackers Fit into the Equation
About one-third of shoppers are using a fitness tracker to help monitor their progress and stick to their New Year’s resolutions. 38% of all surveyed shoppers already had a fitness tracker before the holidays, while 14% got a shiny, new fitness tracker during the 2017 holiday season. 48% don’t have a fitness tracker.

We compared the buy rate (purchase frequency multiplied by average spend per trip) of fitness tracker owners with non-fitness tracker owners to identify differences in shopping behavior. We analyzed purchase data from receipts captured with InfoScout’s proprietary mobile apps from July 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017 to avoid bias resulting from holiday shopping.

In general, the fitness tracker group spent more on healthier foods. They spent 28% more on vegetables, 20% more on fruits and 15% more on yogurt than the non-fitness tracker group. Interestingly, the fitness tracker group also spent 23% more on alcohol and 18% more on ice cream than the non-fitness tracker group, while the non-fitness tracker group spent 27% more on soft drinks and 8% more on cheese.

One might assume that the fitness tracker group was just purchasing more expensive wine, but the largest beneficiaries among alcohol categories were actually beer and spirits. In the case of ice cream, fitness tracker owners not only spent more on ice cream, but they also purchased ice cream more frequently than non-fitness tracker owners (6.2 times to 5.6 times). Perhaps they use positive fitness tracker data to justify the occasional treat.

In a future post, we’ll analyze purchase data to determine whether these same shoppers are sticking with their healthy New Year’s resolutions, and find out if that fitness tracker they received for the holidays has affected their shopping behavior. Stay tuned!