How do Axe and Old Spice buyers really differ? What pricey ice-cream brands do food-stamp recipients buy disproportionately? And who's been buying more than their fair share of condoms?
Digital startup InfoScout has begun answering these and many other questions by enticing people to anonymously upload all their receipts via their smartphones, then analyzing the data.
To date, 5.7 million receipts have been scanned, and InfoScout has assembled a panel of 125,000 shoppers that it says is largely representative of the U.S. population, though CEO Jared Schrieber acknowledged it's "a little light on people over 55."
Last week, the company lifted the veil on data gathered over the past year, launching InfoScout.co, which lets people track as many as five brands or retailers. The goal is to sell annual subscriptions for richer data. Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever, Nestlé, General Mills and PepsiCo are already clients.
Last week, InfoScout let Advertising Age take a broader look at the data, and we saw some interesting results.
For example, people in the Western U.S. buy more than their share of Trojan condoms (indexing 136 where 100 is average) compared with folks in the Northeast (who index at only 63, or 37% below the national average).
Confirming other research, InfoScout finds people using food stamps buy more carbonated soft drinks (Coke indexes 142 and Pepsi 194 among the group) and snacks (Doritos indexes 210). More surprisingly, food-stamp recipients also overindex on Ben & Jerry's (indexing at 178 for the group) and Haagen Dazs (156) ice cream. InfoScout also found P&G's long efforts to contemporize Old Spice have worked to the point that its buyers are younger than those of Unilever's Axe, indexing at 197 for buyers under 24 vs. 142 for Axe and at 75 for the 35-to-54 demos, where Axe is about average.