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 current and emerging tactics being embraced by CPG marketers as they seek to re-energize and re-align their marketing strategies as shoppers react to high gas prices in the post-recession era of CPG.
It has been more than two years now since SymphonyIRI published the first report in its Competing in a Transforming Economy Series. It was a powerful research series that closely monitored the progression of the impending recession, and consumers’ response to the economic slide.
The Great Recession is no more. Officially, the recession ended nearly one year ago. Undoubtedly, though, the aftershocks from the recession are still being felt.
And, just as the CPG industry was beginning to show signs of new growth, a new hurdle emerged: rising gas prices. The repercussions of this gas price spike are rippling through the U.S. economy, and through the CPG industry. With higher gas prices come higher costs of doing business. This, in turn, brings higher prices all along the CPG supply chain and into the retail environment.
Consumers and CPG marketers are quite resilient in the face of this adversity. Both groups are evolving to not only survive, but also to thrive.
Inflated gas prices and a slow and unsteady economic recovery have left many consumers struggling, and very apprehensive about near-term prospects for their financial health and security. In fact, 57% of consumers are feeling increased financial strain when gas prices increase, and more than four in ten say high gas prices make it difficult to meet monthly expenses.
At a macro level, trip frequency and average spend are declining, but shifting shopping patterns are driving mixed trend changes at the channel level. Dollar and club channel frequency has escalated more quickly versus competing channels during much of the past year, while mass/supercenter trips are down sharply, driven by several factors, including high gas prices.