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October Trend Flight: Intuitive Eating, Drunk Shopping, & Cheez-Its

Don't Drink and Prime

There’s a reason meme culture is full of cautionary tales of what happens when you “drink and Prime.” I heard from a coworker that his wife went on a tipsy shopping spree in Mexico and then got her credit card info stolen. Another coworker told me that she bought hundreds of dollars of Free People garb while buzzed. According to our research partner, Gartner, drunk shopping is now a $40 billion dollar practice. Why is this trend on the rise? 

1) People are staying in more, which means post bottle of wine and Netflix binge they might pull out their phone and head to their Amazon wishlists. There’s a reason Amazon makes it so easy to 1-click-purchase, even tipsy consumers can spend their money without leaving their homes. 

 2) It may be easier than ever to purchase, but most brands make returns relatively hard. It doesn’t have to be this way! Consider brands like ASOS that make it seamless to return unwanted items by sending consumers packaging and paid shipping labels with every order. Although drunk shopping might be associated with purchase remorse, most participants I spoke with didn’t regret it enough to go through the hassle of returning their impulse buys.

3) We live in an anxiety-ridden nation and consumers are looking for micro-occasions to #treatthemselves. We could devote another article to talking entirely about the shopping behavior dubbed anxiety consumerism, think everything from adult coloring books to acupressure mats. Drunk shopping is no exception to this trend and as anxiety continues to rise, so will the average liquored up cart value. 

4) Drunk shoppers often have seen ad for an impulsive item more than once and may have been tempted in the past. By the time they see it post-drinking occasion, their inhibitions are lowered and they may be more likely to add the product to their cart. Not to mention, drinking most often happens at night after a day full of decision making. Similar to how a coffee brand might want to set ads to run in the morning, impulse brands may want to aim for nighttime. Consider a dayparting campaign for your brand, targeting users at specific times of day or days of the week. 

According to Gartner, the top categories for drunk purchases are food, clothing, and tech products and brands in these spaces have an opportunity to tap into what meme culture is telling us and be part of the conversation. The market is under the influence of something big and it’s up to your brand to cash in on it. 

The Orange Crush

The orange crush has arrived and we’re not talking pumpkin spice (although we are in another article.) We’re talking about those crisp, addicting, crackers reminiscent of ‘90s sleepovers: Cheez-Its. Before I dug into some hard research, I posed a simple poll on my Instagram asking my followers why our culture is so obsessed with Cheez-Its. Here were some of my favorite answers: 

  • They’re more dense and cheesier than chips and since they’re crackers they’re “healthy” 
  • Different levels of bake, each piece tastes different 
  • They are the perfect amount of crunch, salt, and cheese
  • It’s the perfect in-between of a chip that needs salsa and a cracker that needs cheese 
  • We aren’t, but Pizza Hut thinks we are!

Of course, recent brand events have contributed to the increased cracker conversation. In July, House Wine came out with a wine and Cheez-It box, really all you would need for a romantic picnic. Then, in September, Pizza Hut announced their Cheez-It stuffed pizza that we’re unapologetically excited to try. The brand experienced a significant bump in searches when the Pizza Hut announcement went out demonstrating the impact of brand collaborations. We don’t know what’s next for Cheez-Its but we can tell you that America bleeds orange for this snack cracker and we don’t see that changing.


Trust Your Gut

With so many weight-loss magic alternatives on the market, it’s hard for adults not to think that there’s something wrong with their bodies. However, this issue affects children too. A study from Common Sense Media found that by age 7, one in four children has engaged in diet behavior: “More than half of girls (55–59%) and approximately a third of boys (33–35%) age 6 to 8 indicate their ideal bodies are thinner than their current body”. What do we do about a diet culture that keeps reinventing itself to make us feel like we aren’t enough (cough, wellness industry, cough)? We strip everything away and go back to biology, aka “Intuitive Eating”. Intuitive eating is exactly what it sounds like—no gimmicks, no secrets, no magic weight loss, just a return to listening to our bodies and how the food we eat makes us feel. According to Evelyn Tribole, one of the founders of intuitiveeating.org, “Intuitive Eating is a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.” It is not a diet. It is not a weight loss plan. It’s a way for people to heal their relationship with food by focusing on what really matters: how we feel after we eat.

When we assign foods to be “good” or “bad”, it gives them power over our emotional state, which can lead to disordered eating patterns because we feel guilty about what we’re putting into our bodies. Now, intuitive eating does not say that all foods are nutritionally equal, but they should be emotionally equal. When we give ourselves permission to eat all foods, it takes away the power of fear or guilt often associated with “bad” foods. If we are less restrictive, we tend to crave less, as the pendulum doesn’t swing as far between what society has dubbed as “clean eating” and “guilty pleasures”. By listening to our bodies and giving them what they want when they want it, we can begin to look at why we choose certain foods, how they make us feel physically, and make continually informed decisions about our bodies. For more info on intuitive eating, check out Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s 10 principles of intuitive eating and the London Centre for Intuitive Eating.

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For media inquiries please email fwt@room214.com

Vanessa Kahn


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