Although consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales were already on the upswing, the pandemic brought about a surge in spending on these products throughout 2020. So says data [press release] from NCSolutions, which reveals that US households increased their CPG spending in 2020 by 19% year-over-year.
An analysis of NCSolution’s purchase data shows that, in the two months leading into the pandemic, CPG spending grew by a modest 6% year-over-year (y-o-y) in January and 14% in February. However, by March, US households were spending 36% more on CPG products than they had a year earlier, while in April y-o-y growth was 29%.
Although the summer months did see y-o-y growth rates drop, for the most part, they remained higher than the growth seen in January and February. In fact, October saw yet another spurt in CPG spending, with growth reaching 27% y-o-y.
The pandemic also inspired consumers to branch out and try new products. NCSolution’s survey of about 2,000 US consumers found that almost half (47%) had tried new brands or categories during the pandemic — 12% of whom said they became fans of the new brands and will continue to buy them.
It’s not just new brands consumers have been trying. Global data from Nielsen shows the percentage of consumers that had shopped at food and grocery stores they had not visited before grew during the pandemic.
Returning to NCSolution’s survey, consumers said they were most likely to try new brands in the snack food (52%), beverage (44%) and cleaning products (43%) categories. And, much like the findings from a previous survey by Valassis, price appears to be the factor that motivates consumers to try new brands or products, followed by free samples (43%) and quality (36%). Others are motivated by recommendations from family or friends (36%), while 35% of respondents would try something new if their usual brand was out of stock.
About the Data: Consumer behavior findings are based on a survey of 2,004 US adults fielded in late November 2020.