There was no information available in the public domain on the consumer segments that may be interested in purchasing either high-end, trendy insulated food containers or a similar container at a lower price point more appropriate for children. Below is an overview of the information that was available.
consumer Segment: People prone to contracting food borne illness
- According to a study done by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans, which totals to an estimated 48 million people, get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of food borne diseases each and every year.
- More specifically, the study determined that young children, pregnant women, and the elderly were the most prone to contract food borne illness.
- Therefore, this segment of people can be considered as one of the consumer segments of insulated food containers as these containers help to keep food at a safe temperature until it is taken out for consumption.
- The products catering to this consumer category are diverse in their range of prices starting from $14.99 for a purple Thermos 10-ounce Funtainer Food Jar to $36.69 for a Zojirushi SL-NCE09 Ms. Bento Stainless-Steel Vacuum Lunch Jar.
Consumer Segment: Travelers
- People who travel long distances often carry non-perishables such as rolls, bread, and cookies or perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
- While traveling with hot foods, travelers often need containers designed to keep their food hot.
- Also, while traveling with cold food travelers need insulated containers with a cold pack to keep the food at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Travelers also often fall prey to travelers' diarrhea and to prevent that their foods are required to be kept at the correct temperature, as noted in the American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.
- All these reasons combined make travelers an important consumer segment for insulated food containers and such a product, the "Thermal Insulation Lunch Box Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Carrier Bento Box Travel Hiking Camping Picnics Food Jar Capacity 1.4L", was sold at Amazon for $30.99.
Consumer Segment: Construction Workers
- In the absence of an insulated food box for lunch, construction workers leave their job site at lunchtime, go to a drive-through, and eat as fast as they can.
- Bringing lunch in a paper bag to a construction site is risky. Unlike any other job, their lunch packet can be squashed flat or exposed to dirt and/or cement (which can enter it).
- Construction workers often work in high temperature areas and not being able to keep the food cool increases the risk of illness.
- All these factors combined make that construction workers are in need of a rigid and insulated lunch box that has been designed for the outdoors.
- Some insulated food containers or lunch boxes suggested for construction workers are:
Consumer Segment: Parents of Toddlers
To find information specific to high-end and lower-priced products and its consumer segments, we started our search by looking for market or industry reports (such as those published in sources like Markets and Markets, GM Insights, Market Research, Mordor Intelligence) and press releases (such as Globe Newswire, PR Newswire, Businesswire). Although these sources provided the overall market size for the product, the nuanced studies relating to specific consumer segments and their preferences for high-end or low-priced products were not available for non-paying customers.
We then looked into sources such as websites, reports, annual disclosures, presentations, blogs and articles published on the websites of manufacturing companies such as Omie, Milton, Vaya Lunch, Thermos, among others. However, presumably in order not to limit the potential buyer size for any product beforehand, these companies did not publish any reports on high-end or low-priced products.
We also looked into advertising databases (such as Adforum, DMA) and advertising case study sites (such as Effie, WARC) to understand which product is marketed to which customer. However, the limited information available on the products' ad campaign did not divulge any information regarding the potential customer base the ad was targeted towards. For similar information we also looked into the social media profiles of the manufacturing companies but apart from announcing the product, the announcements did not make any public distinctions between its targeted customers.
In the absence of information as obtained from the above search strategies, we deployed the following alternate search strategies. We tried to find out the average price of an insulated food container and then tried to find out which were high-end and which were low-priced and compare them to the average. However, due to the multitude of variants available there was no readily available report on average pricing. Although the average price could be calculated based on the average of a set of products obtained from sites such as Amazon, it was difficult to ascertain which product (high-end or low-priced) exclusively catered to which category as for each consumer segment a diverse range of prices were available from low to high. Also, the prices between two consumer segments could not be compared as the products used by a construction worker was completely different from that used for a toddler in terms of physical attributes such as size and weight or in terms of its purpose or usability. Therefore, the comparisons were not feasible.
We looked into sites that provide consumer demographics mapped with product variant (such as Infoscout) or sources providing similar quantitative data (such as Nielsen, Euromonitor Database, Mintel, IBIS World). Again due to the wide multitude of products for each consumer segment these databases could not be put into use.
We searched through press releases (such as Globenewswire, Businesswire, PRNewswire, Cision) which often provide paid reports on market analysis for a diverse range of products. Two such sources on the insulated food container market were identified which were global studies of this market and had the scope of more detailed analysis of the consumer segments.
In the absence of information on the segments interested in high-end, trendy insulated products or lower price point products, we broadened the search to consumer segments of insulated food container overall. This resulted in the consumer segments listed. For an understanding of the price points, the price of products was listed without making any comparisons between each.