The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry was one of the most revolutionized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are putting a heavy emphasis on health and safety.
Last year we saw the rise of e-commerce like never before. The challenges we faced are likely to persist until we reach global health stability.
Brands are going through a portfolio reshaping revival. Unilever will be launching a vast offering of new ice cream flavors while Danone is in the process of releasing Oikos Pro yogurt caups and drinks. Plant-based is also another category that will be expanding across brands' portfolios this year.
Since lockdowns began, consumers are cooking way more at home, but According to The Progressive Grocer, consumers said grocery shopping was not all that fun through last year. The post covid shopping experience will have to be enjoyable and filled with more personalized offerings.
According to Forbes, Shoppers are visiting the store less often but spending more when they do. Last year in the U.S. , 81% of consumers had never bought groceries online. Online Shopping has opened more possibilities for retailers to recommend other products. It's not only Amazon that can employ powerful AI algorithms to track consumers' preferences and behaviors.
Zehra Raza, Senior Marketing Executive, Product Manager at Hershey Canada, remarks that consumer-decision journeys will now include more digital touchpoints. However, consumers will still expect a high level of product and service consistency.
Customers are becoming more conscious about what they buy and how they vote with their dollars. It's undeniable that consumers seek to better their purchasing journey, but it's not the only thing that matters to them. The purchasing journey is complex, there are many touchpoints to consider, and companies have to ensure it goes as smooth as possible so the customer keeps coming back.
Socially Responsible Brands
Witnessing social injustice and civil unrest while also dealing with a global pandemic hasn't been easy. Lately, consumers are really diving into a company's values, and CPGs are no exception. Users no longer feel like tolerating silence from brands, especially on social media.
In July 2020, we saw brands boycott social media platforms as a sign of protest and support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, arguing that social media must prioritize people over profit. More than 1,200 businesses, non-profits, and countless consumers joined the movement. Among the issues were bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and disinformation.
CPGs are also expected to take a stand and echo their values by taking action. Paying lip service won't do. In a hyper connected generation, brands need to keep their content outflow constant and relevant. Quantity is crucial, but not if it's missing quality and substance.
Among The Top 100 Newsweek's Most Responsible Companies 2021 list, annual ranking of businesses based on corporate social responsibility listed many CPGs like General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods, Clorox, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Campbell Soup, and Kimberly-Clark.
Whereas governments have done everything they can to ensure the population safety, brands have also stepped in to help out amidst the global pandemic. Unilever has already provided over $500 million in COVID-19 relief across the globe. Reckitt Benckisers' brands Lysol, Sagrottan, and Dettol, have partnered with numerous companies, services providers, and institutions to sanitize spaces and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Sustainable business models and packaging
Fulfillment issues arose amidst the beginning of the outbreak; even Amazon's Prime Day had to be postponed because of the fear that the whole US post service would collapse. Since then, companies have arranged for last-mile partnerships to be sure the customers will receive their orders on time.
It's not only the transportation of goods that can be done more efficiently. Accountability is a common theme, also as we enter the second month of 2021. Packaging design plays a significant part in a brand's carbon footprint. Designers have the power to change the way we consume.
With the help of technology, brands will integrate in-store and online shopping experiences. Many have already done it; curbside pick up is one mode that's worked and prevented brick and mortar stores from overcrowding.
Speed when embracing change
Brands need to embrace change fast. The CPG industry is resilient but restless, and there's always the next big thing or product launch around the corner. Marketers and brand managers must be current with consumer trends and act quickly upon insights.
Keeping audiences engaged is a challenge but not impossible. It is easier to leave room for change. Today, brands can only plan posts in advance until a certain point. Content must be new, relevant, and valuable every single time. This is why power brands need to rely on fast implementation and design to solve their day-to-day needs without going dark on social media platforms.
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Last Edited on May 25, 2018