In the first few months of 2020, many observers of the CPG marketing space speculated that grocery shopping would be changed forever. Many changes to consumer behavior appear to have some level of permanence, particularly the increased consumer usage of mobile to assist with grocery shopping.
However, shopper product preferences continue to change. Many items that were popular in April of 2020, specific to a stay-at-home mindset, have dropped off significantly. Additionally, certain grocery items have seen extreme jumps in add-to-list volume. The below graphic reveals the top fastest growing and declining categories in grocery list building activity, as compared to 2020.
Many stay-at-home activities were relatively short lived, and the grocery products associated with them saw subsequent sharp drop offs in year-over-year add-to-list volumes. In April 2020, consumers added high volumes of crafting and baking supplies to their lists, as well as non-perishables and sanitary items. This year, the demand for those products has naturally declined to pre-pandemic levels.
On the other hand, shoppers have responded to decreased restrictions on gathering and travel by adding products like jalapeños, cilantro, coolers, and fruit/veggie trays, indicating that consumers are planning parties and gatherings. Consumers are also adding sandals, purses, jackets, sunglasses, and wallets to lists and indicating that they plan on returning certain items; this reveals that people are beginning to grow comfortable with shopping in-store.
As the summer moves along, marketers can expect shoppers to continue to purchase increased volumes of entertaining and travel-related items. Marketers will be presented with a unique opportunity to reposition themselves in front of shoppers who may have previously expressed affinities for other brands.
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