June 25, 2020

WHAT TO EXPECT: Holiday Grocery Shopping in 2020

It’s holiday planning time! In a conventional year, CPG brands would look to tried-and-true messaging and in-store tactics to catch consumers’ eyes. With conventional expectations turned upside down, however, advertisers are now facing uncertainty over how shopping habits and patterns will change and how to adjust their strategy accordingly.

CPGs can rest assured that consumers will still purchase groceries during the holidays. And lots of them. The last few months have proven that shoppers are content to replace restaurant meals by making more meals at home.

Categories that surge during normal holiday seasons can expect record-breaking years. Certain categories, particularly baking and liquor, already experience seasonal peaks in November and December, which can be seen in data collected from AdAdapted’s network of grocery list apps.

The below charts reveal historical add-to-list habits that can be extrapolated to in-store purchase behavior.

As evidenced above, categories like liquor and baking already do well during the holidays. Both categories have seen record-breaking increases due to COVID and consumers staying at home. AdAdapted expects these categories to exceed expectations during the 2020 holiday season.

Based on intuition and examination of shopper habits in recent months, here are some additional thoughts for marketers to consider:

  • GATHERINGS: We still don’t know whether large gatherings will be off the menu over the holidays, but we can safely assume that more people will be in their homes than normal. This will likely translate into heightened consumption of seasonal favorites, and increased planning as trips to the store remain limited.
  • BAKING: Shoppers who spend more time at home tend to bake more. CPGs can expect a bump (beyond November and December’s normal peak) in baking-related purchases.
  • ALCOHOL: Consumers may not be able to go to their favorite bars and restaurants in ways they normally would. Beer and liquor marketers should expect above-average boosts in interest among those who still want to drink at home.

With all this information in hand, what should you do if you’re a CPG marketer?

  • As always, you should align your product with those closely associated. If you market cheese, target shoppers who add crackers.
  • Align with products that indicate someone who hosts gatherings. Even if you’re marketing cheese, it will probably be worthwhile to engage shoppers who have eggnog on their lists.
  • Increase targeting of shoppers in the planning phase. This holiday season will look different; consumers will make fewer trips to the store and browse less, so marketers will need to find ways to stay top-of-mind before their audience heads to the store.

For more insights and information, visit https://www.adadapted.com/insights.

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