CPG Year in Review: The Search for Footing in an Evolving Marketplace  Review

CPG Year in Review: The Search for Footing in an Evolving Marketplace Review

SymphonyIRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. This issue of Times & Trends explores economic, channel, department and category performance throughout the past year.  The report is intended to help CPG marketers understand market opportunities and risks by benchmarking performance versus the industry, and act on this knowledge with confidence and agility. 

Introduction

These days, trying to survive and thrive in the world of CPG feels a bit like playing a part in the tale of David and Goliath.  The United States economy has been on unstable ground for several years . A great many consumers have been feeling like they are in a financial “holding pattern” — things are not getting declining, but they are not improving, either.

Outside this sizable group, consumer sentiment around the economy and personal finances has been mixed. 

Pessimistic consumers are continuing to struggle to make ends meet. Optimistic consumers feel that things are getting better, but a strong sense of frugality is permeating their daily lives, their shopping behaviors and their consumption patterns. Meanwhile, CPG marketers have been wrestling with rising commodity prices, and increased input costs all along the supply  and delivery chain.  The net result of these forces has been intense margin strain and ongoing growth issues.

The CPG industry, as a whole, is in search of firm footing.  Across CPG channels, departments, categories and brands, there are CPG marketers that are dialing into and delivering against the needs and wants of their shoppers.  Indeed, while the war is far from over, there are battles being won.

Select Findings

  • The drug channel demonstrated healthy growth during the past year, with sales growth outpacing industry average and the grocery channel. Above-average performance cut across CPG departments, supported by evolving trip mission trends and an increased focus on the food and beverage arena.

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  • Increasing commodity prices are having a profound impact on price across several categories, including a number of key CPG staples. While manufacturers and retailers absorbed cost increases earlier in the downturn, instead alleviating margin strain by increasing efficiencies and wringing costs out of the supply chain, many are now passing increased costs along to consumers in the form of higher CPG prices.

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**Download the entire report in a pdf here.**  [3]