Impulse Buyers Bring Home the Frozen Pizza

Jul 19, 2002

During the last several months, BIGresearch of Columbus, Ohio, has been studying consumers’ behavior in the grocery store, and noticed the emergence of two primary buying styles – practical and impulsive – according to a report by

“The practical shopper tends to integrate more ‘healthy’ food choices into their lifestyle while the impulse shopper tends to eat more starch-based food and have a penchant to want to save time as well as buy for more conspicuous consumption,” says Joe Pilotta, a vice president for BIGresearch.

The differences are said to be most apparent in frozen foods. Practical shoppers prefer frozen fish/seafood entrees, vegetarian alternatives and hamburger patties. Impulsive purchasers fill their carts with frozen pizza and pizza rolls as well as appetizers/ethnic foods.

The two groups of shoppers also have different store preferences. Practical shoppers will head first to Wal-Mart before the grocery store. Impulse buyers make their first stop at the supermarket.

Moderator Comment: Do you see any practical application at retail from BIGresearch’s definition of practical and impulse shoppers?

We can’t decide if we are practically impulsive or impulsively
practical. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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