Shoppers find this new category of one-shot drinks difficult to define. When asked how they referred to the products, 31% said by the brand name, a quarter described them as yoghurt drinks and 13% as lower-cholesterol drinks.
Another 16% said they didn’t know what to call them while the remainder described them variously as little drinks, tasty drinks, sports drinks and health drinks.
Shoppers’ perceptions also seem based on their entry route into the products, driving where the shopper expected to find them.
New shoppers to the category coming from a yoghurt background saw the products as liquid yoghurts and therefore assumed they should be located by yoghurts.
Others who saw them as probiotic drinks were looking for them with drinks such as fruit juice and milk.
This would suggest that strong signage is key to help new shoppers locate products that at the moment do not command significant space in the chiller cabinet.
This is a relatively frequently shopped category, with nearly two thirds of shoppers buying at least once per week (64%).
With daily usage by the majority of the shoppers, it is not surprising to see such a high frequency of purchasing. The majority of shoppers buying were loyal shoppers and were all trolley shoppers - these products have become well established as part of their main shopping.
This was a planned purchase by the vast majority of the shoppers (93%). The few shoppers making unplanned purchases said they were attracted by the 2 for £4 on one brand. One shopper said her child had asked for some.
Own label does not play a part in this category, but we assume it will not be long before retailer versions appear.
There is strong brand loyalty, with 82% of shoppers saying they always buy the same brand. However, offers interested shoppers who perceived the drinks to be closer to a yoghurt and who were not buying for cholesterol-reducing purposes.
The majority of shoppers saw and selected their desired brands quickly.
Those who took more time were relatively new to the category and were seen to be exploring the options presented to them.
Just over half (54%) did consider other types. Comments included: “I’m sure they are probably all roughly the same - so why not save money?”; “The offer caught my eye - but I’m not sure if it is the same as I usually buy - so I think I will stick to my usual brand”; and“I tried a new brand when the milkman left me some free samples”.
Only a third of shoppers would buy another brand/ variant if the one they wanted were out of stock so two thirds would leave the display empty-handed. It is key to keep the display well stocked with all brands as shoppers will not change brands.
Their perception of the product is different to that of a lot of the other grocery categories we have observed.
More than two thirds said they had not noticed anything in particular when they approached the display.
Some 7% of them mentioned an offer and the others said that they only saw the brand they wanted to buy.