Why Scanner Data Often Falls Short and What to Use Instead

Hand swiping debit card on pos terminalMany companies commit substantial financial resources to obtain detailed information on product sales through scanner data. However, scanner data does not always live up to its promised potential. Deeper, more actionable insights are often required to create strategies for innovation and growth.

As a long-time Research Analyst and Industry Studies Manager at Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, Jennifer Mapes Christ understands the limitations of scanner data well, particularly as it applies to food and beverage, packaging, and pet products and services.

I sat down with Jennifer to discuss this issue in more depth and learn about potential solutions for filling this common information gap. Read our conversation in the Q&A below to find out more, or watch the video for additional insights.


Why isn’t scanner data always enough information to gain a competitive edge? What does it miss?

Scanner data tells you the “what,” but it doesn’t tell you the “when,” “how,” or “why” products are selling and performing at a certain level. Scanner data can't tell you about consumer habits, key occasions and dayparts, or niche areas that offer promising growth opportunities.

Scanner data can tell you a lot about what products are selling and how they are performing in the market, but it isn’t forward-looking, and it doesn’t provide forecasts. It doesn’t tell you what market segments to pursue next or where to focus your strategy.

How does Packaged Facts fill that need for deeper, more comprehensive, and forward-looking insights?

Packaged Facts offers data-driven analysis of consumer habits and preferences, marketing innovations, product launches, and competitive trends. This information can help you make informed decisions about your products, marketing, and overall strategy.

For example, Packaged Facts Food & Beverage reports highlight:

  • Trends in consumer habits, feelings, and outlook
  • Promising product and niche areas
  • The latest marketing and distribution innovations
  • Key occasions and dayparts
  • Competitive analysis among suppliers

We know companies are always looking for growth opportunities. How does Packaged Facts help achieve that goal?

Our research can point you toward where you could go next in terms of brand extensions and licensing opportunities. As an example, The Coca-Cola Company launched Tic Tac Coca Cola Breath Mints and Tic Tac Sprite to leverage their brand power and unique flavor profile into a new product opportunity.

Both brand extensions and licensing can be a great way to grow your brand and reach new customers by bringing your existing customers with you into new areas, while limiting marketing expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about food and beverage segments with the best prospects where your brand or product flavors could be a match, Packaged Facts has a variety of reports available.

What are some specific titles that you think stand out in this regard?

The reports Food Market Outlook and Beverage Market Outlook cover big-picture trends throughout the industry with annual updates.

We also delve into key growth opportunities and trends in specific market segments, such as:

In addition, we publish consumer insights reports that provide data-driven analysis of consumer preferences, habits, and activity. Key titles include:

What are some other ways companies can use Packaged Facts to identify opportunities in adjacent markets?

We see significant cross-over between human food trends and pet food and treats. Since people consider their pets to be part of their family, they often want their pets to follow similar diets and health philosophies, whether that’s gluten-free, vegan, or keto. Pet companies can study human food trends to better understand where the pet food market is headed next.

We have reports on all these areas, and these food and beverage reports can be highly useful for pet companies as well.

We can help you better understand these human food and human eating trends so that you can develop products that meet the needs of today's discerning pet owners.

Whether you are interested in food and beverage or pet products, going beyond scanner data—and exploring the complex factors shaping consumer behavior—will give you more visibility, more options, and more actionable insights for what’s next on the horizon.  

Curious to see what Packaged Facts offers? Visit our website.

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.

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