Survivalists and Selectionists: How CPG Companies Can Use Digital Solutions to Please Consumers

CPG companies
To select (and pay more) or to survive? For many this is not a choice, but CPG companies can increase their consumer base by providing options for everyone.
Image source: Flickr user n.karim

For the first time since the financial crisis began in 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve has increased short-term interest rates, citing job growth and a better economy as reasons for the change.1But in terms of economic growth and employment opportunities, the good news has not led to a mass exodus to buy luxury items.2 Indeed, consumers are still very much divided into two camps: survivalists and selectionists3, where survivalists represent consumers who generally make less than $50,000 per year and look for cheap items. Selectionists are those who can afford to be more choosy and “select” for quality. For CPG companies, this often means that in terms of food items, beverages, household consumable products and personal care items, they must navigate two spheres of influence to maximize profits.

Taking the High and Low Roads to Greater Profit

CPG companies must cater to two consumer groups, one willing to pay the high prices associated with quality items and another less likely to do so. This represents an excellent opportunity for many companies to attract large numbers of consumers; however, switching costs and high competition can affect profits. In order to support product innovation and quality in this fiercely competitive environment, while providing appropriate goods for both survivalists and selectionists, companies should consider digital solutions that can support their efforts.

Maximize Efficiency: Survivalists and selectionists are driven by costs versus quality; digital solutions that enable CPG companies to consider both aspects are essential. For example, if a food item contains a very expensive ingredient, experimental recipes that test alternative, less expensive ingredients can help point towards potential “survivalist” alternatives. In order to uncover these alternatives efficiently, digital software that enables multiple users to view data is crucial for bringing ideas to the table. Recipe planning facilitated by these interactions can lead to innovative new products that CPG companies can market sooner and more effectively.

Safety: In testing quality ingredients for selectionists, for example, there must be a mechanism for tracking procedures and ingredients. This information can also be digitally linked to SDS information and other data about specific items. In this way, goods are easier to track and researchers have better access to safety information. If regulatory bodies require specific data, this information can be easily provided, reducing compliance risks which can delay product release. As new items are created, there are a variety of tests that must be performed. Integrating testing equipment with digital software options is another method for ensuring that CPG companies are safely conducting their business, given that it prevents errors involved in manually transcribing instrument data into systems.

Specially designed digital solutions can decrease the use of paper, while ensuring that your procedures, regulations, guidelines and ingredients are in accordance with company standards. Furthermore, the presence of all of this information within a single system that can be shared supports collaborative efforts, ensuring that you can more easily move from quality ingredients for selectionists, to cheaper alternatives for survivalists. To learn how BIOVIA Experiment can assist your CPG company in reaching its goals, please contact us today.

  1. “Why the Fed Raised Interest Rates,” December 16, 2015,
  2. “Holiday Shopping 2015: Consumers Buying Less Expensive Gifts,” December 21, 2015,
  3. “Holiday Shopping Spend Forecasted to be Down in 2014 as Shoppers Remain Cautious, According to PwC US and Strate,” October 7, 2014,

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