Exploring the Impact of Affordability on Consumer Purchase Decisions

May 3rd, 2023

Dive into how interest in affordability shapes the demand for valuable benefits, like: 

  • Functional Nutrition
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Brand Transparency
90-percent-americans-concerned-about-food-prices-vertical-1

Dive into how interest in affordability shapes the demand for valuable benefits, like: 

  • Functional Nutrition
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Brand Transparency
90-percent-americans-concerned-about-food-prices-horizontal-1

Prices for most - if not all - commodities have risen in the past year, causing consumers to re-examine their spending habits. One survey found that about 90% of Americans are concerned about food prices1, however, it's clear that price is just one factor in weighing food and beverage purchase decisions. Other considerations ranging from nutritional content2 to quality of ingredients3 also rank highly when it comes to product selection.

With a growing consumer interest in affordability, formulators must ensure that they're offering the most value for the price of food and beverages. This can be accomplished by enriching formulations with non-processed, high-quality ingredients that deliver clear nutritional benefits and provide transparency on how the ingredients are produced and sourced. 

Discover what's driving perceived value of food and beverages for today's consumers: 

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Functional Nutrition

While the desire for more affordable foods remains apparent, consumers of all income levels are ranking health above affordability as the most important factor in new product development4. Shoppers seek nutritional value within their purchases, looking for benefits such as:

  • Immune support
  • Gut health 
  • Protein 
  • Fiber 

For consumers who prioritize health and wellness, functional benefits correlate with getting the most value of out their monetary investment4. In fact, 65% of French consumers think a food or drink product with multiple health benefits is a good value for their money5. Therefore, people may pay more for functional food with quality ingredients that meet their standards for perceived value. 

Formulators can provide a value boost by using ingredients that pack numerous functional benefits all at once. Functional ingredients like almond butter and almond protein powder not only offer a neutral flavor profile and recognizable label, but also provide a range of nutritional benefits such as protein, fiber, zinc and more. By incorporating almond-based ingredients within foods like non-dairy yogurt and ice cream, food manufacturers can increase the value of their innovations with just one ingredient. 

protein-shake-chocolate-with-almonds-and-banana

Quality Ingredients

Consumers want to eat healthy, but they aren't willing to sacrifice taste-they want the best of both worlds. For many, this means opting for real, wholesome ingredients, and skipping out on over-processed, artificial alternatives that can have an unpleasant flavor and mouthfeel. With 75% of people willing to pay more for known, trusted ingredients6, such as almonds or oats, it's crucial for food innovators to use high quality ingredients with a recognizable flavor and texture within products like better-for-you indulgences. 

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Consumers want to eat healthy, but they aren't willing to sacrifice taste - they want the best of both worlds. For many, this means opting for real, wholesome ingredients, and skipping out on over-processed, artificial alternatives that can have an unpleasant flavor and mouthfeel. With 75% of people willing to pay more for known, trusted ingredients6, such as almonds or oats, it's crucial for food innovators to use high quality ingredients with a recognizable flavor and texture within products like better-for-you indulgences. 

healthy-bowl-granola-with-almonds-and-raisins
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Food brands can rely on quality ingredients such as almond flour to formulate better-for-you cakes and cookies, and almond butter within non-dairy frozen desserts. Because almonds are widely identified as a superfood, consumers may gravitate toward this ingredient simply because they trust it provides the taste, texture and nutrition they're seeking - increasing the perceived value of a product. 

Brand Transparency

About 94% of survey respondents stated that they will stay loyal to a brand that is transparent about their ingredients and practices, with 75% saying they will happily pay more for products from a brand they believe to be genuine7. Whether it be for sustainability or social justice reasons, it's clear that consumers want products from companies that care and position those products as a better value when compared to other offerings. 

Green almonds in orchard

Formulators can enrich their innovations with ingredients sourced from suppliers with transparent supply chain practices. As a grower-owned cooperative with roots in innovation, we at Blue Diamond maintain high standards for our orchards and our products. Through initiatives such as sustainable agriculture and water conservation, we're able to produce a more environmentally responsible product.   

While it's evident that consumers are concerned with affordability, it's one of several factors considered in the purchase decision. They don't just want a product that tastes good, but one they feel offers a range of added perceived value. While specific values rank differently among consumers, formulators can enhance their offerings by using ingredients that boast multiple value-added benefits to the table, including functionality, high-quality standards, and brand transparency.  

Blue Diamond almond ingredients, like almond protein powder and flavored almond inclusions, elevate food and beverages within a wide range of formulations. By using Blue Diamond almond ingredients, food brands can be confident they're delivering taste, texture, quality nutrition and ingredient transparency.  

Get in touch with us to learn which almond inclusion flavors are available in your area. To discover how to add the valuable benefits consumers are craving within your next indulgence, check out our Q&A article featuring expertise from Laurie Colin, Senior Technical Business Development Manager at Blue Diamond here 

If you're hungry for more insights on what to expect from flavor innovation, contact us or request a sample today. 

References:

"Consumers changing eating, shopping habits as inflation pushes up prices," CNBC. 2022.
"Study: Consumers Will Pay Premium For Healthy Food," Specialty Food. 2022.
"Outlook 2023: Consumer Trends," Food Technology Magazine. 2022.
"Affordable nutrition key consumer focus in 2023," Food Business News. March 2023.
"The Future of Nutrition, Health and Wellness: 2023," Mintel. February 2023.
"Consumers willing to pay 75% more for known ingredients: Survey," Food Navigator Europe. November 2022.
"What is Brand Transparency, and Why Is It Important In 2022?" Latana. 2022.

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