IRI Consumer Connect Survey Finds CPG Industry Not Feeling Boost from Healthy U.S. Economy
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 24, 2018--The consumer packaged goods industry is not reaping the benefits of a fairly robust economy, according to the latest IRI ® Consumer Connect survey results released today. Even though 55 percent of households say their financial health is good, CPG unit sales growth is anemic and the non-food sector is struggling even more. To examine how consumers’ shopping behaviors and attitudes are affecting non-edibles, IRI also released a new report: “Where’s the Non-Food Growth?”
The Consumer Connect Index, which monitors consumers’ financial health and CPG behaviors for factors such as brand loyalty, attitudes toward organic/natural food and beverages, perception of national compared to store brands and frequency of using retailers’ and manufacturers’ coupons, came in at 98.7 for Q2 2018. This is virtually identical to Q2 2017 (98.6) and only slightly less than Q1 2018 (99.5). With a benchmark score of 100, a Consumer Connect Index score of more than 100 reflects consumers who are less price-driven, more loyal to favorite brands and better equipped to maintain their desired lifestyles without changes.
“Our quarterly index indicates that consumers do not feel like they are on the economic roller coaster as they did in the past,” said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI. “People are opening their wallets more and spending, but they are still very selective about what they will spend their money on. Obviously, people need to eat, so they are spending more freely on food and beverages. However, they are looking to stretch their dollars a bit more in the non-food aisles.”
Doing more with less
Results from the Q2 2018 Consumer Connect survey reveal that select consumer sectors are still struggling despite the healthy economy:
As a result, consumers are embracing a variety of money-saving strategies and making trade-offs to save money:
In addition to these money-saving strategies, consumers are simply buying less to spend less. This is having a clear negative impact on non-food unit sales trends:
However, all is not doom and gloom for the CPG industry — there is reason for optimism. The economy appears to be on a positive trend, and many consumers expect that their financial position will improve throughout the remainder of the year. Even among groups that are struggling, consumers expect their household’s ability to save money will improve: 58% (total), 64% (households with kids), 54% (households with income less than $35,000) and 43% (Hispanics). In addition, these groups are showing a willingness to invest more in premium-tiered CPG solutions during the next six months: 30% (total), 28% (households with kids), 31% (households with income less than $35,000), 22% (Hispanics).
CPG brands and manufacturers also have opportunities to entice consumers to spend more to trade up to higher-end products and/or to get select benefits:
“CPG brands and retailers need to continue to think creatively and strategically in order to bring consumers what they want: excitement, convenience and value,” added Viamari. “Consumers are smart and they have choices. They know that they can shop around and they know that their choices are virtually unlimited. Brands and retailers that can stand out with a strong value proposition are the ones that will satisfy today’s choosy shoppers and be rewarded with growth and loyalty.”
To download the press release, video highlights and “Where’s the Non-Foods Growth?” report as well as Consumer Connect survey findings dating back to Q1 2016, click here.
About the IRI Consumer Connect Survey
IRI provides new survey results at the end of each calendar quarter covering shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes as they directly relate to their strategies for learning about, purchasing and utilizing CPG and health care products, as well as information regarding perceptions of economic conditions and their ability to provide for their families. For more information about customizing the research for a particular category or industry, please contact IRIMarketing@IRIworldwide.com.
About the IRI Partner Ecosystem
IRI fundamentally believes that delivering differentiated growth for clients requires deep, highly integrated partnering with a variety of best-of-breed companies. As such, IRI works closely with a broad range of industry leaders across multiple industries and sectors to create innovative joint solutions, services and access to capabilities to help its clients more effectively collaborate and compete in their various markets, and exceed their growth objectives. IRI is committed to its partnership philosophy and continues to actively enhance its open ecosystem of partners through alliances, joint ventures, acquisitions and affiliations. The IRI Partner Ecosystem includes such leading companies as 84.51°, Adobe, The Boston Consulting Group, comScore, Data Plus Math, Experian, Geoscape, GfK, Gigwalk, Google, Ipsos, Mastercard Advisors, MaxPoint, Omnicom, Oracle, Pinterest, Research Now, Simulmedia, SPINS, Survey Sampling International, Univision, Viant, Yieldbot and others.
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers, financial services and media companies grow their businesses. A confluence of major external events — a change in consumer buying habits, big data coming into its own, advanced analytics and personalized consumer activation — is leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI is empowering the personalization revolution, helping to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, collaborate with key constituents and deliver market-leading growth. For more information, visit www.iriworldwide.com.
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