The Consumer Intelligence Blog - Infegy

How to find CPG insights with social listening

We've updated this content! Please check out the 2023 CPG insights eBook, How to become an Industry Leader with Social Media Trends here.

We also have a new blog outlining what you can expect in the eBook here.


The ultimate challenge for CPG brands: understanding why people choose one product over the other.  Is it the packaging? The ingredients? The flavors? Or does it have to do with something more profound?

Social listening insights can help pinpoint how people buy and what drives them to the choices they make. Our brand new report on CPG trends reveals key data on consumer experiences, preferences and cravings.

In this article, we will take a look at 5 surefire ways you can use these social insights to understand consumer experiences and behaviors that we applied in our CPG report. They are:

  • Pinpoint how consumers talk about different varieties of products
  • Compare which products lead for different age segments
  • Identify leading occasions for product uses
  • Breakout top keywords, brands, or items associated with your topic
  • Understand trends consumers actually care about when buying the product

Let’s take a look at how to use social listening to understand CPG consumers:

Tip #1: Pinpoint how consumers talk about different varieties of products

You can learn a lot about how often and how positively people talk online about a subject. But it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. That’s why the social listening analysis featured in our report goes beyond volume and sentiment to include conversational metrics that can be custom-made based on the topic.

If you’re looking at chip flavors, for instance, you can add a custom theme such as craveability to pinpoint which chips are the most craved. Pull it all together to compare post volume, sentiment and craveability. Salt & Vinegar chips are the most talked about and the most craved:

Consumer Sentiment, Mentions, and Craveability

Despite being the most polarizing chip flavor in terms of sentiment, Salt & Vinegar is also the most popular and the ones consumers talk about the most passionately. This additional element of craveability adds a whole new dimension to analyze and understand consumer experiences.

Tip #2: Compare which products lead for different age segments

Different products appeal to different types of consumers. This is the case for people of different generations.

Social listening analysis allows for comparing age segments by which product they discuss most often or most positively. This can be leveraged to identify trends and outliers amongst age groups. Comparing demographics with flavors, you can explain increases in sales and predict future popular preferences.

Using the chips example again, you can compare which chip flavors are positively discussed by each age group. In this case, Millennials mentioned cheddar in positive conversations the most:

Positive Chip Flavor by Age

This example shows there is a larger trend of younger audiences leaning towards cheddar flavors, where “classic” and “plain” flavors have less appeal. Analysis like this can help you make data-based predictions and product decisions.

Tip #3: Identify leading occasions for product uses

People love to talk online about their personal experiences with products and who they enjoy them with. This means there’s plenty of opportunity to find out consumer behaviors associated with certain products, regardless of category.

Take pasta, for instance. Different types of pasta are enjoyed for different occasions and vary by the types of social situations. Social listening makes it simple to find out which works best for which type of situation. Analyze social conversations that contain “me” or “my” or “myself” statements, then look within those statements for mentions of friends, family or significant others.

Ravioli is often mentioned when eating with friends. Penne is popular to eat with a significant other. This data could be useful for your brand to help optimize portion sizes or marketing of products.

Pasta Consumption by Type and Consumer

The good news? People don’t just talk about pasta online (crazy, right?). They talk about anything you could think of, making this ideal analysis for whatever product your company makes.

Tip #4: Breakout top keywords, brands, or items associated with your topic

People naturally mention topics that could be related to your product or brand as they post on social media.

Take Ice Cream, for example. Besides us all screaming for ice cream, we also have this in common: we have different tastes when it comes to flavors, toppings or mix-ins. If you’re in the sweets and desserts category, you’re going to want to know how people talk about those tastes online.

With social listening, this is an easy 2-step process. Step 1: pinpoint the most mentioned toppings or mix-ins within conversations about ice cream. Step 2:  Research those mix-ins within general conversations about ice cream to understand each individual flavors’ volume of conversation.

Doing this, you can find that Brownies are found in 44% of conversations about Oreos as toppings:

Mix-in Pairing by Overall Volume

Tip #5: Understand ingredient trends consumers prefer when buying the product

People discuss certain ingredients online, and those discussions house key insight about how they use ingredients.

Conversational analysis can help uncover current trends and make predictions. This matrix compares the percent change of different ingredients, showcasing which are on the rise, and which are falling out of favor:

Chicken recipe analysis

Understanding these trends can help you make educated predictions about how certain ingredients are trending.

Get More CPG Insights

Social listening insights like those included in this article show how CPG companies can reach new customers, improve or develop products, and understand consumer experiences.

Now that you have a taste of how you can apply the metrics, you can download the CPG Social Insights Report!

Inside, we reveal more brand new consumer insights about CPG products, brands, flavors, ingredients and occasions. And we include even more tips on how to use social listening for analyzing CPG brands.