The Alcohol Industry and the Role of Online
28 Nov 2022

What is happening in the alcohol sector this fall? Provoke Insights investigated consumers’ alcohol buying behavior in its fifth wave of the consumer trends study.

Who’s Drinking Alcohol?

Americans like to drink! Almost half (40%) of consumers will be making alcohol purchases. These individuals are more likely men with a higher household income. They consider themselves more environmentally friendly. As a result, eco-friendly alcohol brands may stand out from the crowd. As these Americans favor shopping at small businesses, it is still important to have a presence at mom-and-pop liquor stores.

These consumers prefer to stick to familiar alcohol brands. However, in-store availability is a top influencer for 40% of these consumers when considering alcohol. To stay top-of-mind, brands in this category must ensure their products are available at multiple online and in-person retailers.

A Closer Look at the Liquor Sector

Vodka (21%), followed by whiskey (17%), is the most popular. While in-store still dominates for hard alcohol purchases (81%), over one-quarter of liquor purchasers buy online (28%).

The method they purchase online is mixed; online delivery services, big box retailer websites, national alcohol websites, and liquor store websites are all channels being used. Liquor brands need to consider the multiple ways consumers purchase online, as there is no single way.

Liquor buyers aren’t just drinking. They are interacting with their favorite alcohol brands as well:
Two-thirds (66%) engage with brands online, primarily through the brand’s website (28%), followed by social media (22%).
As brand familiarity is important to alcohol buyers, actively connecting to buyers online is essential for liquor brands to have an edge over competitors.


Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the fall of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

Winter 2023 Trends: The State of the Economy
22 Nov 2022

The traditional holiday season is filled with family, joy, and tons of shopping. This year, inflation, the economy, and job stability are on people’s minds. How will this season be different from others? How should brands react to this changing environment?

At Provoke insights, a full-service market research firm, our bi-annual consumer trends study keeps a pulse on the market across multiple industries. The extensive study allows Provoke Insights to stay ahead of the trends and understand consumer mindset in the current moment. We understand how the outside world impacts brands!

Here is a peek at the groundbreaking data included in the reports.

Is Santa in Savings Mode?

In fifteen industry-specific reports, our newest complimentary research highlights how consumer trends are shifting. Three years since Covid began, fears of the pandemic have decreased, but consumers have other growing concerns, from inflation to the economy. Jobs stability is not as much of a worry.

This wave, in particular, highlights how these concerns are affecting buying habits as we head into the most spending-heavy time of year.

Consumers fear their financial future. They are experiencing price increases, particularly at supermarkets and restaurants. These concerns are lowering optimism levels below those of Fall 2020 and leading Americans to tighten their spending. Almost three-quarters (70%) of consumers report being more budget conscious in the past six months. Consumers eat more at home, make fewer impulse purchases, and buy store-label brands. One in ten say they are cutting down travel.

What Can Brands do?

As budgeting constraints affect multiple industries, brands must actively reach consumers this holiday season. Couponing or exclusive experiences may help consumers open their wallets and prevent buyer hesitation. Maintaining relationships with buyers through social media can keep products top of mind, giving buyers time to think and make their purchases decision less impulsively.

Though some strategies can apply across the board, each brand must decide what is best for their industry and company. Check out our industry-specific reports from our Winter2023 Trends, and keep following our blog for industry summaries.


Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the fall of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

Shoppers Looking for Budget-Friendly Produce – Produce Business
18 Nov 2022

Provoke Insights’ freshly published research on regional produce trends is featured in Produce Business’s November 2022 issue. Head to page 14 to view the article.

In Fall 2022, Provoke Insights launched a survey among 1,500 Americans. The study aimed to identify key trends in several different industries, including fresh produce, and break out said trends by regional discrepancies.

The standout findings include:

  • Consumers fear the country’s financial future, as inflation (65%) and the economy (63%) are major concerns.
  • The majority (82%) of those buying produce say the price increases of vegetables and fruit are an issue.
  • Consumers also notice other issues while shopping like a limited selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available at the grocery store (51%), as well as a lack of fresh produce (41%).
  • Supermarket packaging is not considered sustainable by nearly two-thirds (62%) of grocery shoppers, who agree that the packaging could be more eco-friendly.

As economic concerns effect buying preferences, produce brands need to stay top of mind with consumers. They must make consumers feel comfortable buying produce instead of compromising their healthy eating habits to save money.

The Pros and Cons of Custom Competitive Analysis Research
03 Nov 2022

All brands, regardless of industry, are competing for consumer support and loyalty. How can brands best understand their market share? Competitive analysis research can be a brand’s blueprint to gauge how they stack up versus the competition. This research can measure a product’s awareness, satisfaction, and loyalty while also comparing the metrics to those of similar products. Though the research has immense value, conducting it can be tricky. Here are some pros and cons to help determine if competitive analysis research is the best fit for your brand.

The Pros of Competitive Analysis

See where your brand stands against competition

It is imperative for any company to pinpoint who its competition is in the market. Otherwise, how can you measure the success of your product? Competitive analysis can help answer a number of questions about how your brand is perceived compared to the competition in the market. How aware are consumers of your brand vs. others? Which brands in your competitive set lead in ad awareness? And ultimately, which brands do consumers prefer? Answering these questions sets benchmarks based on other products to assess their own success.

Understand consumer choices

Just as important as “what” brands consumers buy is “why” they choose to buy them. If a brand is a leading choice among buyers, it is important to know what works so that the company can continue to provide these attributes in its products. Conversely, if a brand seems to be playing catch-up to the competition, companies will need clear direction on improving their offering. It is crucial to include probes within your competitive analysis to gain a strong POV of why or why not they are purchasing your brand. This will allow you to better assess the top attributes that lead to purchase and loyalty and the pain points that deter a consumer from picking the product.

Measure growth with tracking research

Knowing how your brand compares to the competition at a given moment can be helpful, but tracking the changes over time takes competitive analysis to the next level. Integrating a competitive analysis into an annual or bi-annual brand tracker can reveal consumer behavior changes as companies adjust their products and advertising. Though this can benefit any brand, this methodology is especially useful for companies that are not currently the top consumer choice. Tracking a competitive analysis over time can help these brands make adjustments based on consistent consumer feedback to allow them to grow and ultimately overtake the competition.

The Cons of Competitive Analysis

Picking the wrong competitors can tank your research

To run a successful competitive analysis, the brand in question needs to be compared to the proper competitors. A company may want to compare against as many brands as possible, but overcrowding a survey with too many options can flatten the research results. Additionally, brands may have different competitors in different markets, making a national study tricky to create and analyze. Companies should consider conducting preliminary research to uncover the true competitors to include in the analysis. It’s also smart to always include a question on unaided awareness to pinpoint additional brands that can be included in future waves.

You may be unprepared to take in what you find

Sometimes research needs to be the humbling voice in the room. The nature of a competitive analysis could bring in negative sentiment toward your product and an outpouring of praise for a competitive brand. Sorting through such results can be disappointing and difficult to accept. For this reason, it is important to design your survey to give you strategic results and clear calls to action. As a result, your brand will likely see improvements in future waves.

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Guests Experiencing Restaurant Inflation – Modern Restaurant Management
02 Nov 2022

In autumn 2022, Provoke Insights surveyed 1,500 Americans. This survey aimed to gain perspective on the external trends affecting multiple consumer behaviors, including restaurants and dining out.

The standout findings include:

  • Half of respondents say they are eating out less at full-service restaurants than they did six months ago
  • Eating more at home is the top way consumers who are budget conscious are trying to save
  • Consumers are most dissatisfied with prices of items on the menu
  • More than half of consumers are saving money through cutting back by selecting cheaper items or passing on desserts and/or appetizers

Consumers fear their financial future, as the economy and inflation top their list of concerns. As a result, restaurants should create cost-saving options to appeal to those consumers who are budget conscious.