Trick or Treat? The indulgence of impulse-purchased sweets

Halloween, with its eerie charm and the promise of sweet delights, beckons us to explore the world of impulsive sweets purchases. In the spirit of this spooktacular season, we embarked on a captivating journey to uncover the secrets behind our favorite sweet indulgences and investigated Italians' taste in “spur-of-the-moment" treats and discovered interesting insights. Let's take a look at them together! 


Impulsive Purchase of Sweets 

Sweet Tooth's Delight: 

Our first question aimed to identify the product categories that fall under Italians' idea of sweet purchased on impulse or on the craving of the moment, and thanks to their answers we were able to appreciate how their hearts instantly gravitated toward the irresistible allure of chocolate bars (79%). The rich, creamy indulgence is followed closely by the ever-tempting chocolates and pralines (63%). Not far behind, the crispy satisfaction of wafers (53%) and the nostalgic charm of candies (52%) keep our taste buds enchanted. And even in a world dominated by flavor, the whimsical marshmallow, while not deeply ingrained in Italian culture, captures the hearts of 21% of impulsive sweets buyers. 


Age Matters 

Our sweet preferences, as it turns out, are not set in stone but sway gracefully with the winds of age. The younger generation, aged 18-34, has a soft spot for marshmallows, their taste buds aligning with the carefree spirit of this confection. They also display a slight inclination toward licorice and candies but don't show the same fervor for wafers. The adults aged 35-44 find their passion in nougat, savoring its unique texture and taste. As for the wise 45-65 age group, they're not avid fans of marshmallows or nougat, yet they share a sweet kinship with other age brackets when it comes to other delightful confections. 


Favorite types of sweets bought impulsively


Choice Drivers for Impulsive Sweet Purchases 

Indulgence Meets Frugality 

The art of impulsive sweet buying is not just a matter of whims but a careful balance between indulgence and prudence. It's no surprise that "Toothsomeness" reigns supreme as the strongest driver, with a resounding 50% of respondents affirming its sway. After all, that irresistible blend of flavor, texture, and satisfaction is the very essence of what we crave in a sweet treat. Following closely, "value for money" (40%) and "sense of gratification" (37%) serve as pragmatic compasses, reminding us to savor each morsel while being mindful of our resources. 

This nuanced balance hints at a deeper undercurrent—people remain keenly aware of the price and quality ratio especially in a category of "non-essential" foods. Rising costs of basic necessities and the looming specter of inflation undoubtedly play a role in our choice of sweet indulgences. 


Drivers of purchase for sweets bought impulsively


Sweet Choices and Their Driving Forces 

Our impulsive sweet choices are not just random. The purchase of chocolates, pralines, wafers, and chocolate bars is harmoniously driven by a trio of toothsomeness, sense of gratification, and the sheer ease of consumption. These sweets offer a symphony of flavors, textures, and the instant gratification of a delicious bite. 

On the other side of the sugary spectrum, nougat and licorice enthusiasts find their motivation in the thoughtful selection of raw ingredients, lower sugar content, and portion control. These sweets invite us to savor a different kind of sweetness, one that speaks to our desire for a relatively guilt-free delight. 

For marshmallow lovers, the choice driver veers toward the art of presentation—captivating packaging that promises a whimsical and joyful experience with each bite. 

Lastly, candies stand as a testament to the power of trust and familiarity. What drives Italians to buy candy is their knowledge of the brand and its competence in the sector.


Product categories by drivers of impulsive purchase

Festive Associations 

To add some seasonal context to our findings, we asked participants to associate each category of impulsive sweets with specific holidays. Here's what they told us: 

  • Nougat is often linked to Christmas, likely due to its traditional and comforting qualities. 
  • Candies, licorice, and marshmallows find their spotlight during festivities like Carnival and Halloween, aligning with the fun and celebratory nature of these events. 
  • Chocolates, pralines, and chocolate bars shine on occasions of love and appreciation, making them popular choices for Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's and Father's day. 


Product categories associated with each holiday


Favorite Sweet Brands for Impulse Buying 

As we consider our favorite brands for impulsive sweet purchases, Kinder (43%), Nutella (39%), Lindt (38%), and Ferrero Rocher (36%) emerge as the top contenders. What's the secret sauce behind their popularity? 

Just like the rest of all 10 favorite brands, they share common features: pocket-sized packaging that makes them ideal choices for those spontaneous moments of indulgence. The convenience of quick, delightful transgressions, combined with the irresistible allure of chocolate, makes them perennial favorites. 

Our journey through the world of impulsive candy choices has been a whirlwind of flavors, preferences, and delight. It's a reminder that the world of sweets isn't just about indulgence—it's a reflection of our evolving tastes, our cultural celebrations, and our cravings for the perfect blend of taste and value. During Halloween, it's the perfect time to indulge your sweet tooth and savor those moments of joy. 


Inclusivity in Fashion and Beauty: Embracing Diversity for Successful Branding

In today's dynamic and ever-evolving world of fashion and beauty, embracing diversity is not just a trend; it's a business imperative. Brands that prioritize inclusivity in their products and marketing strategies are not only taking a stance for social justice, but they are also reaping substantial financial rewards. This article delves into the impact of inclusivity on branding, providing examples and data that highlight the advantages of embracing diversity in the fashion and beauty industry.


A New Era of Representation 

The 21st century has ushered in a new era of representation in the fashion and beauty industry. Gone are the days when the industry adhered to narrow standards of beauty and catered to only a fraction of the global population. Forward-thinking brands now understand that diversity is the bedrock of success. 

One shining example is the cosmetics giant Fenty Beauty, founded by Rihanna. Fenty Beauty's groundbreaking approach to inclusivity created a buzz worldwide. By launching 40 different shades of foundation, the brand addressed the needs of a broad spectrum of skin tones. The result? An astonishing 100 million dollars in sales in the first 40 days after its launch. This data sends a clear message to professionals in the industry: embracing diversity can be immensely profitable. 


fenty beauty diversity


The Power of Authenticity 

Inclusive branding goes beyond mere representation; it embodies authenticity. Brands that genuinely connect with diverse audiences by reflecting their values, struggles, and aspirations in their products are the ones that thrive. 

Take Nike's "Dream Crazier" campaign featuring Serena Williams, an iconic example of authenticity. This campaign celebrated women who have broken barriers in sports, sending a powerful message about gender equality. The result? A 7% increase in Nike's stock price, a massive social media buzz, and a boost in brand loyalty. This demonstrates the connection between inclusivity, authenticity, and the financial success of a brand. 


nike dream crazier diversity


Inclusivity in Advertising 

Inclusive advertising is not just about having a diverse cast in commercials. It's about telling stories that resonate with different communities, acknowledging their unique experiences, and addressing their specific needs. 

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign is a classic example of effective inclusive advertising. By focusing on body positivity and self-acceptance, Dove engaged a vast audience. This campaign earned the brand a 60% increase in sales over a decade, proving that inclusivity in advertising creates a lasting impact on the bottom line. 


dove real beauty campaign diversity


Data-Driven Inclusivity  

The success of inclusivity in fashion and beauty isn't just anecdotal; it's supported by hard data. Market research shows that diverse representation in advertising positively affects consumers' perception of a brand and influences their purchasing decisions. 


Does diversity win?

A McKinsey & Company report titled "Diversity Wins" conducted in 2020 found a strong correlation between diversity and financial performance. The report revealed that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity in their executive teams were 36% more likely to achieve above-average profitability. Likewise, companies with a higher gender diversity score were 25% more likely to outperform their competitors. This research reinforces the idea that inclusivity is not only the right thing to do but also a strategic move that positively impacts a company's financial success. 

This data is a wake-up call for professionals in the industry, emphasizing the need to integrate inclusivity into every aspect of brand strategy. 


Diverse perspective make market-responsive products

And while the McKinsey & Company research is a prominent and compelling source, there are other studies and data that can further support the importance of inclusivity in fashion and beauty branding. One such source is the Harvard Business Review (HBR). In a study published in HBR, researchers analyzed 1,700 companies across eight countries and found a significant connection between diversity and innovation. 

The HBR study discovered that companies with diverse workforces were not only more innovative but also had higher levels of customer satisfaction. In the fashion and beauty industry, where innovation is paramount, this data underscores the critical role diversity plays in driving success. It suggests that diverse perspectives lead to more creative and market-responsive products, ultimately translating into higher customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. 


Inclusivity in fashion and beauty is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity for successful branding. By embracing diversity, brands can reach new heights of profitability, authenticity, and customer loyalty.

Media Matchmakers: Aligning Brand Values with the Right Platform

In the age of digital marketing, choosing the right social media platforms for advertising is crucial. Beyond the obvious factors of audience demographics and advertising costs, understanding the underlying values and reputations associated with these platforms is equally vital. Our recent research study was aimed at uncovering the perceived values of users across several prominent social media platforms and provides some thought-provoking insights that can guide advertisers in their decision-making process. 


Demographics and Platform Preferences 

One of the significant findings of this research is the alignment of demographics among users of various platforms, with some intriguing exceptions. The platforms in the Meta family, YouTube, TikTok, Spotify, and LinkedIn are aligned in terms of gender representation, while Pinterest, the outlier, is used significantly more by Gen Z women. X stands out as the preferred platform for Gen Z and Gen X men, and Twitch attracts a younger male audience. 


Interestingly, Instagram and TikTok are the favored choices of Gen Z users, with a notable decline in usage among the older generations. In contrast, LinkedIn caters more to Gen Z and Millennials, with Boomers not prominently engaged on any of these platforms. Notably, LinkedIn also exhibits a regional concentration, with higher usage in the north-western part of Italy. 


Values: Unveiling the Core 

Moving beyond demographics, the study delves into the core values associated with these platforms, shedding light on the unique characteristics and reputations they convey to their users. 


Discretion, Trust, Transparency, and Closeness 

None of the platforms score significantly for these values, indicating that users do not perceive any of these social media platforms as notably strong in terms of transparency, trust, or discretion. This observation highlights the relatively uniform or consistent nature of these perceptions across the platforms, rather than emphasizing nuance. It's worth noting that users may not feel exceptionally close to these platforms either, signifying that building deeper connections with users is a continuous challenge for brands within this digital sphere. 



Facebook's strong positive concentration in the Community and Familiarity categories highlights its role as a digital town square, where users connect with friends, family, and communities they identify with. Despite the negative rating for Innovation, Facebook's enduring appeal as a communal space is noteworthy. 



Pinterest's positive spike in the Creativity category suggests that it's a treasure trove of inspiration and innovative ideas. This niche position sets it apart from the competition. 


The Quest for Uniqueness: 

Interestingly, no platform stands out as particularly unique, suggesting that users do not perceive any platform as distinctly different from the rest. This opens up an opportunity for platforms to differentiate themselves more prominently. 




Values Across Age Groups 

Unpacking values by age group further illuminates how users perceive these platforms and the unique associations they make. 


Gen Z: 

TikTok is the go-to platform for Gen Z, strongly associated with "Fun." Pinterest captivates with "Inspiration" and "Creativity," while LinkedIn lacks a strong association with any particular value for this generation. Facebook is not seen as an innovative platform by Gen Z, and Twitch appears closer to "Entertainment" and "Community." 



Facebook is embraced as a "Community" and "Familiar" platform by Millennials, with a stronger association of "Closeness" compared to other generations. LinkedIn, like with Gen Z, is not considered an entertainment destination. 


Gen X: 

Gen X users appreciate the "Community" and "Familiarity" offered by Facebook, while Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify are valued for their entertainment content. As expected, LinkedIn maintains its professional image. 



For Boomers, Facebook serves as a source of "Entertainment," "Community," and "Familiarity." YouTube is seen as a source of knowledge, fun, and entertainment. 


social media values per generation


In conclusion, understanding the values perceived by users on different social media platforms is crucial for advertisers. It not only helps in crafting more targeted and effective ad campaigns but also in aligning the brand message with the platform's inherent reputation. While demographic factors and advertising costs are undoubtedly significant, this research suggests that considering the values and reputations of social media platforms can provide a competitive edge in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. Advertisers, in turn, can leverage these insights to create more resonant and targeted campaigns that align with their audience's values and expectations, fostering a stronger brand-consumer connection in the world of social media advertising.