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CPG Year in Review: Finding the New Normal

CPG Year in Review: Finding the New Normal

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 those lessons through the lens of economic, channel, department and category performance.  The report is intended to help CPG marketers understand those lessons and resulting market opportunities and risks by benchmarking performance versus the industry. 


Three years after the official end of The Great Recession, the new world of consumer packaged goods (CPG) presses on.  June of 2010 marked the beginning of the recovery.  From the start, few, if anyone, thought the recovery would be quick and easy.  Some, perhaps, understood the long and difficult road to recovery, and what a long trip it has been!

The economy has improved, but is far from having a firm foothold on growth and stability, and consumers and marketers alike are very aware of this reality.  As a result, 2012 was yet another year marked by conservative consumer behaviors.  The pursuit for value is as intense as ever, and it has served to amplify industry competition.

This is the story of an evolving consumer packaged goods industry.  It is an industry that is moving toward a new tomorrow.  But, to move ahead effectively, it is important to begin by reflecting on the past.  After all, history is the best teacher.

The year 2012 certainly provided many lessons for CPG marketers.

Select Findings

On average, CPG unit sales slipped slightly in 2012, and dollar sales growth was driven largely by inflation.  Grocery and drug channel retailers lost share, as consumers stepped up buy rate within value channels.  The convenience store channel also showed strength, with unit sales increasing at an above-average rate

CPG Industry Growth Trends
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The healthcare department outpaced industry average and surrounding departments by a wide margin in 2012.  Seven of the department’s 10 largest categories grew unit sales for the year, with four categories—weight control/nutrition liquids/powders, vitamins, first aid and other health remedies—enjoying above-average growth.

Top Healthcare Categories
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**Download the entire report in pdf format.**

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