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At the Dining Table: American Meals and Cooking 2021

A national syndicated study that explores the cultural shifts and changing consumer behaviors around the American meal and what it all means for your business.

Recent decades have seen a gradual erosion of American mealtime rituals, with more meals and snacks eaten alone or on the go and sourced in a variety of ways. But the 2020-21 coronavirus pandemic has prompted shifts in how Americans’ source and eat their food.


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Health & Wellness Across the Globe

The Hartman Group is recognized as the authoritative source for understanding the catalysts driving consumer demand fueling the global health & wellness market growth. Our health & wellness syndicated research series is the longest-running consumer-centric study of the U.S. marketplace. With the Health & Wellness Across the Globe report we extend our expertise in this space to provide in-depth analysis and thought-provoking insight backed by a range of data on some of the most important health issues of today for the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, India and Mexico.

 


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Sustainability 2021

Sustainability 2021: The Defining Challenge of Our Time for the Food and Beverage Industry? 

Sentiment around sustainability has experienced a dramatic shift in the past several months as consumers’ lives and livelihoods were turned upside down by COVID-19 and social and environmental issues. Urgency is building around the need to take action on collective problems that affect not just our future but our present. Engaging with sustainability as a complete moral system — rather than a series of certifications or checkboxes — has important implications for consumer packaged goods and the food and beverage industry more broadly. 

Amid the sweeping changes to consumer lifestyles and a renewed focus on climate change and other key issues over the past year, The Hartman Group’s Sustainability 2021 syndicated study will offer CPG companies, retailers, and restaurants key learnings on consumer needs and resulting opportunities. Sustainability 2021 will explore how consumers are reconsidering what sustainability means to them, how different components of sustainability affect them personally, and who they hold responsible for addressing these challenges. 


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Brand Ambition: Food and Beverage Private Brands & Beyond

Brands have always provided a shortcut for consumers to gauge quality, value, and a number of specific product attributes.  In 2010, we reported on the emergence of retailers’ own brands as a quality product that can compete with familiar, national name brand products on an equal basis. The emergence of private brands has changed the dynamics of how consumer products are marketed and sold. Today, the rules and strategies for competition among brands are being rewritten. The Hartman Group’s Brand Ambition: Private Brands and Beyond syndicated study will examine what the role of a brand is in today’s consumer-driven marketplace. The study will address questions such as:

The goal of this study is to provide an accurate portrayal of “brand” and the changing landscape of the private brand market and the associated strategic business implications for both retailers and manufacturers of name brand and private brand products. The report package includes general report (PowerPoint and PDF), including executive summary, in-depth analysis and implications, and demographic data tables (Excel).


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Health & Wellness: Reimagining Well-being Amid COVID-19

The Hartman Group has tracked consumer attitudes, behaviors, aspirations, and challenges around health and wellness for over two decades. Health & Wellness 2021: Reimagining Well-being Amid COVID-19 updates Hartman’s perspective on the American health and wellness landscape in the wake of the pandemic and delivers insights into how consumers envision and enact health and wellness in our new normal. The report examines consumers’ current health and wellness goals and priorities, the approaches they use to address them, and the ways they learn about and source health and wellness solutions.  

The Hartman Group’s Health + Wellness series of syndicated studies is the longest-running consumer-centric study of the U.S. wellness marketplace. A key pillar of The Hartman Group’s syndicated study program, it offers our clients a regular insight into this important aspect of American food culture. For decades, the concept of health and wellness has been expanding to incorporate not just physical health but also a holistic well-being of the body and mind as shaped by what we choose to consume as well as the society and environment in which we exist.


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Eating Occasions Dashboards 2020

Answering the Question: How Do Americans Eat? 

The Hartman Group’s Eating Occasions Compass tracks the eating and drinking behaviors of thousands of America’s consumers going beyond demographic and standard food diary questions to paint a more complete picture of food and beverage occasions across the entirety of eating. In today's America, the same person eats differently at different times and in varied contexts. People therefore can’t reliably describe in general how often they eat and why. However, they can describe whether, how and why they’ve recently eaten, and with careful prompting they can recall what they have chosen to consume on a given occasion. 

The Hartman Group’s proprietary Eating Occasions Compass is a dynamic database and analytics tool that tracks consumers’ current and shifting eating and drinking behaviors. It provides precise data, information, and penetrating insights as a foundational platform from which you can identify opportunity spaces and fine-tune strategic planning and direction.

In addition to data points and insights, the Eating Occasions Dashboard 2020 report (available in PowerPoint and PDF formats) includes an overview of the Hartman Eating Occasions Compass, the 8 eating occasions by daypart, and three dashboards for each of the 8 eating occasions dayparts (Early-Morning Snack, Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Dinner, After-Dinner Snack, and Late-Night Meal/Snack).


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Snacking 2020: Emerging, Evolving and Disrupted

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the current nature of snacking in America. The pandemic has altered consumers’ schedules, increased their time at home, changed work environments, reduced social interactions, isolated household units, introduced fears around food procurement, and shifted emotional states in the direction of both boredom and heightened anxiety. With these changes, snacking needs and routines have also evolved.  

The Hartman Group’s Snacking 2020: Emerging, Evolving and Disrupted report covers topics such as: 

  • Consumer attitudes towards snacking
  • Drivers for snacking occasions
  • Evolution of snacking habits and frequency
  • Planning and sourcing for snacking occasions
  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on snacking habits and drivers 

Report package includes general report (PowerPoint and PDF), including executive summary, in-depth analysis and implications, and demographic data tables (Excel). 


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Food Sourcing in America July/August 2020

From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, The Hartman Group continues to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits, and relationships with food retailers. Now, during this time of crisis and uncertainty, it is even more important to understand new consumer behaviors regarding food sourcing and what they might look like in the future.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented disruptions to how consumers procure food, including disturbances to the supply chain, changes to how they plan their shopping trips and physically move through the store, and a meteoric rise of online shopping paired with a sudden interruption to restaurant dining. The Hartman Group’s Food Sourcing in America, July/August 2020 takes an in-depth look at these changes to help food industry professionals understand the current landscape of food procurement and make viable predictions about the future.  


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Functional Food & Beverage and Supplements 2020

Understand the health issues and concerns driving consumers' purchase and usage behaviors. Know the implications to more effectively engage with consumers and better navigate a new array of business challenges. Functional Food & Beverage has its roots in both the long-running Hartman Group tracking studies on Health + Wellness (most recent wave published in 2021) and the 2018 seminal Modern Beverage Culture study. This research was conceived to extend understanding of the important elements of the functional solutions space included in prior studies. 

The fielding of this study coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Realizing that the resulting anxiety along with stay-at-home orders would have profound effects on the results, a special chapter was devoted to the disruptive impacts on household routines and the pandemic’s role as a catalyst for engagement with Health + Wellness, most notably in terms of the use of supplements and functional foods/beverages. 


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Organic and Beyond 2020

Organic remains one of the most prominent and significant markers of quality in foods and beverages in the U.S. today. In recent years, we have witnessed the advance of organic products into new categories even as organic foods and beverages become more affordable to the mainstream American consumer. 

Organic and Beyond 2020 provides a critical update to The Hartman Group’s long-running syndicated research series on the organic market and natural foods movement, delivering trended data and informed perspectives on consumer attitudes and behaviors surrounding the current organic landscape with an eye to future-oriented developments. 
 


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Exploring the Diversity of American Foodways

As the “American consumer” evolves to represent an ever more ethnically diverse and globally connected population, American food culture and trends both reflect and are driven by this diversity.  

As the U.S. grows ever more diverse, it has never been more important to understand how changing demographics affect our food culture and marketplace. Using immigration, racial, and ethnic diversity as a lens to explore how Americans eat today, Exploring the Diversity of American Foodways illuminates what we have in common and what is distinctive in our attitudes and approaches to food, eating, cuisine, health and wellness, sustainability, and food sourcing.  


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Sustainability 2019: Beyond Business as Usual

Sustainability 2019: Beyond Business as Usual illuminates how the sustainability mindset and marketplace have changed over the years from the consumer perspective. New consumer energy and movement around the climate, the environment, plastics, and economic issues are helping to re-shape sustainability as a cultural value and purchasing consideration.

In Sustainability 2019, we explore these shifting attitudes and behaviors. We also update long-standing data sets to show change over time, with a deep dive into packaging and a broad overview of sustainability in CPG, restaurants, and food retail, including e-commerce, making Sustainability 2019 essential reading for anyone with a stake in the food and beverage industry.


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Cannabis for Health & Wellness — Special Report

Cannabis is poised to be a major disruptive force across a variety of markets, but none more so than food, beverage, and health and wellness. This special report is to help you understand this potential and what it might hold for the future.  

Cannabis for Health + Wellness 2019 looks at the nascent but fast-growing wellness-oriented cannabis landscape. As more states legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, the demand for CBD and THC products is poised to be a major disruptor in the wellness market.  


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Food & Technology 2019: From Plant-Based to Lab-Grown

Food & Technology 2019: From Plant-based to Lab-grown explores the tensions at the cutting edge of food technology from the consumer point of view. As more consumers than ever question the health, ethical, and environmental implications of animal products, innovative plant-based meat, and dairy alternatives are taking the packaged food world by storm. 

Along with up-and-coming technologies like lab-grown meat and cellular dairy, this growing sector is having a moment in the limelight. However, the glare of the spotlight often hides the fact that many of these products and technologies ask consumers to confront a significant cultural tension between their desire to retain some of the experience of eating meat and dairy and their desire to eat foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. 


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Health + Wellness 2019

Health + Wellness 2019: From Moderation to Mindfulness 

The Hartman Group’s series of Health + Wellness syndicated studies is the longest-running consumer-centric study of the U.S. wellness marketplace and provides current, in-depth insight into underlying motivations and behaviors for how and why consumers live, shop and use brands, products and services in the health and wellness space.  

Health + Wellness 2019: From Moderation to Mindfulness explores what’s new, what’s mainstream and what’s around the bend in the world of health and wellness. Many measures are trended over time and show significant change over the past 3-5 years, including foods and ingredients consumers are seeking or avoiding, supplement usage, conditions managed, and even what health and wellness itself means.


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Modern Beverage Culture 2018

Celebratory, functional, nourishing, quenching. Is there anything more intertwined in America’s contemporary food culture and lifestyles than the role of beverages? Not only do they provide basic sustenance, they serve as an expression of our tastes and values. Beverage-consumption rituals can bring people together or provide solace in quiet, solitary eating occasions. Beverage culture is evolving and dynamic. What does today’s beverage landscape look like? 

Beverages are dramatic disruptors in today’s food and beverage marketplace. New categories, brands, and formats have captured the attention of consumers of all ages and lifestyles and are breathing new life into both retail and food service sectors. Beverages have acquired vast amounts of real estate — on shelves and in key demand spaces — as producers and purveyors expand their offerings to meet consumers’ evolving needs and desires. 


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GEN Z 2018: Today’s Teens — Tomorrow’s Adults

Gen Z are diverse, connected, aware, and socially and politically engaged. With its oldest members just entering their 20s, this generation is poised to be a disruptive force culturally and as a market. The Hartman Group’s Gen Z 2018 report explores this generation’s values, attitudes, and approaches when it comes to food and beverages, eating and cooking, health and wellness, sources of information and inspiration, food retail, and restaurants. Gen Z 2018 focuses on Gen Z teens aged 12-20, with relevant comparisons to older generations – Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.

As always, we use our signature combination of rich qualitative and robust quantitative methodologies to understand these emerging consumers and illuminate the opportunities and challenges they pose to the food and beverage industry.


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The Business of Thrift 2018: Understanding Today’s Value-Oriented and Low-Income Consumers

As the U.S. economy continues to shift, understanding and meeting the needs of these various types of value-seeking consumers in the U.S. has never been more critical. How should food and beverage brands position themselves to succeed with these growing segments of the U.S. population? 

The Business of Thrift report provides a look at the socioeconomic forces at play in the U.S. and offers a comprehensive exploration of how value-oriented and lower-income households navigate their food and beverage consumption. 


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Organic & Natural 2018

Since 1996, The Hartman Group has documented the evolving organic and natural marketplace through the food culture lens. This report, Organic & Natural 2018, extends previous work on consumer aspirations, attitudes, and behaviors related to organic and natural food and the transformation occurring in today’s marketplace. 

In 2018, we are witnessing an intensification in consumer investment in organic and natural foods, the result of a momentum in both consumer and industry engagement.  


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Transformation of the American Meal 2017

Long-term shifts in American culture have reshaped the way we live and eat today. What does this mean for your business?

People are snacking throughout the day, eating alone in greater numbers, and exploring alternatives to food prep by shopping grocerants and ordering meal kits. And that’s just for starters. Shopping for food, dining out, and planning what to eat have all changed dramatically in the past few decades as American food culture has shifted to prioritize, on the one hand, greater customization to personal tastes and needs — especially through healthier, fresher, less processed food — and on the other hand, our continuing and undiminished desire for convenience, variety, and good value.


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Sustainability 2017

Sustainability 2017 tracks and investigates how consumers understand, prioritize and connect four zones (personal, social, environmental, and economical), exploring differences between consumer demand for and actual purchasing of sustainable products, and attitudes toward corporate transparency issues. The report updates understandings of their evolving attitudes, behaviors and aspirations regarding sustainability, including category adoption and the ways in which sustainability and transparency concepts manifest in consumer discourse. 


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Food Shopping in America 2017

As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. 

The Food Shopping in America 2017 report applies The Hartman Group’s innovative approach to answer the question: with more options than ever before, including an expanding array of online food retailers, how do consumers shop for food today? With competition for consumers’ food dollars and eating occasions so fierce, what can food and beverage retailers do to attract and retain shoppers? 


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Health + Wellness 2017

The Hartman Group has been leading the study of health and wellness since the early 1990s. Over decades of mapping consumers’ evolving views, aspirations and adoptions, we have become undisputed experts in the field through our unique combination of quantitative rigor and rich ethnographic detail. 
 
Health + Wellness 2017 applies this innovative approach to continue our exploration of health and wellness in the U.S. market and culture at large. The report identifies the factors and trends driving demand for healthy foods and beverages as well as other wellness products and services. 


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The Future of Snacking 2016

The modern era of snackified eating has fully emerged. With 91 percent of consumers snacking multiple times throughout the day, snacking is essential to daily eating for most Americans now and accounts for 50 percent of all eatings. 
 
The Hartman Group’s The Future of Snacking 2016 syndicated research report distills a plethora of qualitative ethnographic and quantitative survey data on consumer snacking attitudes and behaviors into concise implications for food and beverage retailers, manufacturers and brands. 


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Organic & Natural 2016

It is no longer sufficient to assume that analogues of conventional food and beverage packaged products will sell simply because they are organic. The growth of the natural market and increased access to private label organic products have provided alternatives for consumers while posing a challenge for branded organic manufacturers. The advent of these products has the potential to dilute the relevancy and value of organic food and beverages in the minds of consumers.    

Since 1996, The Hartman Group has been at the leading edge of documenting the evolving organic and natural marketplace through the lens of food culture. Organic and Natural 2016 updates the attitudes, behaviors and understanding that motivate (or inhibit) current (and future) consumer interest in and purchase of organic and natural products. 


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Dining Out 2016: A Comparative Look at Four Key Restaurant Channels

Food culture and eating norms are changing dramatically. Just as people now shop at an array of food retailers seeking new experiences and flavors such as local, organic, natural and fresh distinctions, so, too, do consumers look for these same experiences when dining out.
 
Although traditional dining habits persist (e.g., eating out remains tied to celebration), consumers are increasingly outsourcing food preparation and now eat out as a daily habit. Pair this new behavior with an ongoing cultural fascination with global flavors, diet and health and we see greater demand for menus with fresh, healthy, sustainable, and higher-quality food and beverage options. These changes in food culture are occurring while restaurant operators face new challenges and unprecedented risks as food and beverage supply chains become more brittle due to numerous environmental, social and economic influences.


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Foodways of the Younger Generations – Millennials & Gen Z

Foodways of the Younger Generations is a focused look at Millennials’ interaction with foods and beverages. The report compares Millennials to the generations that came before them (Gen X and Boomers) on food culture topics. While the report’s primary focus is on Millennials, it does include a look at the oldest of the upcoming generation – Gen Z – those 15 to 18 years of age.
 
Gen Z is an important generation to watch emerge because they are even more ‘wired’ to their handheld technology and even more diverse than the Millennials.


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Culture of Food 2015: New Appetites, New Routines

The consumers’ desire for better quality is rapidly becoming an everyday expectation. Culture of Food 2015 is a framework for understanding how consumers define premium quality and make decisions about premium products, brands and experiences.
 
This report is a deep dive into America’s diverse and dynamic food and beverage culture as viewed through the lens of the consumer. It explores the messy and yet-to-be articulated opportunity spaces in our food and beverage culture that are fertile hunting grounds for innovation in products, services and menus.


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Weight Management & Healthy Living 2015

Exploring the Connections Between Eating Behaviors, Lifestyles and Maintaining Healthy Weight
 
Statistics and studies continue to show that far too many of America’s consumers—youth and adults—are at weight levels considered unhealthy. While there are multiple cultural and lifestyle factors contributing to rising obesity rates, consumers’ eating behaviors remain the focus of the problem—and the solution.


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Health & Wellness 2015

One of The Hartman Group’s pillars of expertise has been — and remains — the study of health and wellness. Since the early 1990s, we have been the undisputed leader in mapping consumers’ evolutions, adoptions and aspirations in the health and wellness arena.
 
Health & Wellness 2015 identifies the factors and trends driving demand for high-quality, healthy foods and beverages. The report provides illuminating insights into emerging opportunities for CPG food and beverage manufacturers, food retailers, food service companies and restaurants.


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SUSTAINABILITY 2015: TRANSPARENCY

Transparency is a big, complex issue. It is the one word that captures the swelling chorus of consumer demands in the sustainability marketplace. Today's consumers want to make better purchase decisions, and to do this they want to be better informed. They want to know "what's inside" before they buy. And what they want to know extends well beyond product and packaging characteristics.
 
Quality information, then, lies at the heart of what motivates purchase.


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Diners' Changing Behaviors

Through the Diners Changing Behaviors: Sustainability, Wellness & Where to Eat, The Hartman Group and Changing Tastes provide insights into the intersection of sustainability, health, nutrition and eating-out behaviors and how restaurant and food service operators can capitalize on such trends to maximize and accelerate revenue growth, profitability and customer loyalty. There is a profound transformation taking place in food shopping and shopper behavior. Consumers are faced with more choices than ever before when it comes to buying groceries: foods and beverages can be found virtually everywhere. And, shopping behavior is evolving: Historically, from our research, we know that most shopping decisions are made before consumers step foot inside a store.

There is a profound transformation taking place in food shopping and shopper behavior. Consumers are faced with more choices than ever before when it comes to buying groceries: foods and beverages can be found virtually everywhere. And, shopping behavior is evolving: Historically, from our research, we know that most shopping decisions are made before consumers step foot inside a store.

The report also provides data and insights about format selection, taste and nutrition preferences, and changes in attitudes surrounding celebratory dining versus dining as a part of everyday eating.


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Food Shopping in America 2014

There is a profound transformation taking place in food shopping and shopper behavior. Consumers are faced with more choices than ever before when it comes to buying groceries: foods and beverages can be found virtually everywhere. And, shopping behavior is evolving: Historically, from our research, we know that most shopping decisions are made before consumers step foot inside a store.
 
From over 20 years of shopping with consumers, The Hartman Group knows that food shopping trips are no longer dedicated to refilling the pantry and refrigerator. Indeed, fundamental cultural shifts have led to shopping forays that often look nothing like traditional grocery shopping trips.


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Organic & Natural 2014

As consumer understanding of organic and natural evolves, people gain more awareness of and knowledge about these topics than ever. Dialogue about organic was once rooted in sustainability (e.g., good for the environment, environmental consciousness) but now encompasses making "healthier" choices, and messaging around healthy (better for me and the environment) and locally sourced (better for my community) resonates for Americans increasingly fixated on health and well-being.
 
These shifts in mindset, awareness and access have propelled organic and natural products into the mainstream, and they now extend across virtually all retail and food service channels.


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Digital Food Life 2014

Consumers orientation toward food is influenced by cultural engagement. Today, we have transitioned fully from a traditional and consumer culture to a participatory culture and digital technology is a key driver of that transition. 
 
In a participatory culture consumers believe the world revolves almost completely around them, their activities, their imagined desires and how they would like the world to look (and work). Digital Food Life 2014 explores the nuanced lines between consumers physical world and their digital world, and delineates the impact of digital cultural transformation on the way food is shared, created and consumed.


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Outlook on the Millennial Consumer 2014

Millennials are leaving indelible footprints on the marketplace. They have been the darlings and devils of marketers. How to influence these masters of customization and self-expression remains a mystery to many. With more Millennials entering the workplace, getting married and becoming parents, how will their evolving interests and cravings impact and reshape your business? What do you need to know to connect with Millennials? 

The Hartman Group's Outlook on the Millennial Consumer 2014 report helps crack the Millennials path-to-purchase code.

Millennials are not the fragile, spoiled and overprotected generation that they have been portrayed to be. These consumers are maturing, and many of their values can be traced to life stage more so than generational differences. Millennials are at a stage in their lives where they are proactively crafting their futures and making distinct choices about how they want to live their lives.

This report will help make sense of their attitudes, habits and choices and provide meaningful ways to effectively connect and communicate with America's next greatest generation of adults.