Citing a Credit Suisse research note, Food Dive reports that packaged food consumption rose 20% as compared to 2019 for the week ended June 20, doubling the increase of 10% of the prior week.
The rise in consumption is clearly attributed to changes in consumer behavior as a result of the pandemic – stockpiling, work from home, more time to cook, etc. and is happening in tandem with a rise in grocery costs, which is the highest it has been in nearly a decade.
But looking closer, it is clear that not all categories are created equal and not all brands will fare equally. A PwC consumer sentiment survey conducted in April found that all consumers were loading their pantries more than normal, and 42% will continue to do so until COVID-19 is fully resolved.
Given the emphasis on the pantry, we spoke to our solution experts and asked them to take a look in our Dry Foods Category Deep-Dive App, one of 40 FMCG categories that the Signals Analytics platform supports, to understand more specifically what is driving consumer purchases and what opportunities may exist for brands to capitalize on in the extended crisis period.
In looking at the consumer landscape, affordability was the key benefit consumers sought; in addition to a 10% increase in consumer discussions year over year, there was a 20% jump from February to April alone.
Source: Signals Analytics Dry Food Category Deep-Dive (May 2019 - May 2020)
In terms of features, the most prominent feature in consumer discussions pertained to healthy diet, suggesting that consumers do not want to compromise immune health for affordability; they want their cake and they want to eat it too.
Source: Signals Analytics Dry Food Category Deep-Dive (March 1, 2020 - May 31, 2020)
Indeed, looking at the Consumer Assessment model that compares product claims versus consumer discussions, affordability shows up as a bright white space opportunity for brands to capitalize on.
In terms of companies and brands that stand most to benefit, General Mills reported net sales of $5 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, up 21% vs. the prior year, with organic sales netting 16% growth year over year and many store brands are also experiencing increased interest by consumers, because of their positioning around affordability and health. The below Brand Positioning Assessment shows the brands with the most consumer discussions, highlighting the perceived benefits they are associated with.
The above insights are gleaned by connecting countless rich data sources – voice of the consumer, key opinion leaders, business updates and other signals of innovation (patent filings, etc.) – using curated taxonomies and patented NLP technologies in the Signals Analytics platform to translate these otherwise unstructured and disparate data types into a holistic perspective of the market.
Brands configure the platform to address key business questions that guide business decisioning:
For the Chief Data Officer/Chief Information Officer: The Signals Analytics platform provides a continuous stream of analytics harnessed from external data sources to complement the company’s existing data lakes and business intelligence platforms. Because the platform is configurable to the needs of the business, the Chief Data Officer is able to feed the connected and contextualized data into existing business intelligence environments to unearth trends and insights that impact multiple categories, unleashing value across different business units.
For Consumer & Market Insights Leaders: The Signals Analytics platform cuts through the noise and delivers timely and relevant insights specific to a company’s business unit. The platform’s cross-category analytics makes it easier for the analyst to understand what trends are specifically impacting their product category. The taxonomies and smart contextual engines save significant time and money in conducting market research while ensuring the insights are timely and reflective of a 360-degree view of what is happening in the market.
For Brand Managers and Marketers: The Signals Analytics platform provides the “why” beneath what is happening in the market, helping to optimize product positioning and messaging and elevate product placement. Going beyond social listening and traditional marketing analytics, the insights that the Signals Analytics platform surfaces pinpoints how to effectively differentiate from the competition, measure consumer perception and sentiment and provide an effective response to compelling events and hype cycles, such as the one we are experiencing now with COVID-19.
For Product Innovation Leaders: The Signals Analytics platform offers product and brand perception analysis, helping companies refine marketing strategies and brand positioning based on consumer sentiment. The platform pinpoints emerging consumer trends and under-addressed needs in product categories, enabling companies to pursue new white space and innovation opportunities. Drawing on a wealth of external data sources such as products, sales, and patents, the platform offers critical market intelligence that is used to stay ahead of the competition.
To learn how you can configure the Signals Analytics platform to meet your needs, schedule a demo today.