New research by IRI points to some of the consumer retail trends that have emerged in the US market in the past year as a result of Covid. Looking at the entire CPG (consumer packaged goods) market in the USA, IRI’s recently published Leader Board report for 2020 highlighted some key trends, including consumers of all income levels driving more growth of premium and super-premium products, with health and wellness and self-care products experiencing higher demand. Among the fastest-growing categories in 2020, IRI listed home health care / kits (+172%), personal thermometers (+127%) and sleeping remedies (+28%).
The report also lists some of the marketers and categories that benefited from the strong shift to e-Commerce, including Vi-Jon (marketer of hand sanitiser Germ-X) and external analgesic rubs, as well as highlighting the leading product claims among both edible and non-edible consumer goods. As the chart below from the report indicates, “more vitamin C” was one of the fastest-growing claims in terms of sales (+24%) in the edible sector, while hemp seed oil (+110%), aromatherapy (+37%) and sleep health (+34%) were all in the Top 10 non-edible product claims in 2020.
Further IRI research found that small and extra-small CPG manufacturers’ and retailers’ own brands gained US market share vs larger players during 2020. Of the CPG industry’s US$933bn sales in measured channels in 2020, large manufacturers lost 1.3 share points (US$12.1bn in sales) to smaller players, owing to channel and category shifts and supply constraints. The CPG industry grew 10.3%, with smaller manufacturers (annual measured channel sales <US$1bn) capturing nearly one-third of that and private label products accounting for roughly 18%. This resulted in smaller manufacturers and PL gaining 1.1 and 0.2 share points, respectively, from larger manufacturers (measured channel sales exceeding US$5.5bn annually), which have lost market share in each of the past five years, but still represent 46.7% of total US sales in measured channels.
Comment from President of Strategic Analytics for IRI, Dr Krishnakumar Davey: The consumer shift towards smaller manufacturers and PL products is something that IRI has been documenting for several years, and we saw the trend accelerate during the pandemic. Many large manufacturers were not able to meet the surge in demand in Q2 when they lost most share to smaller players, who seized on this opportunity. Several brands attracted a number of new buyers as in-home consumption surged. Large manufacturers fared relatively better in Q3, but still lost significant share. Q4 saw some improvement and reversion to historical trends. Many extra-small manufacturers are mostly new entrants to the market into supply-constrained categories (e.g. soap, hand sanitisers, home healthcare kits). Small manufacturers playing in high-demand categories such as hygiene, personal care and health & wellness saw high growth.
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