Unprecedented, hellacious, unbelievable. These are just a few words that begin to describe what the year 2020 has brought us. Yet, for CPG brands and retailers, it has been quite transformational and perhaps their busiest year ever. Let’s take a look at some stories that highlight these radical changes and how the industry will be forever affected by what happened in 2020.

Top brands reflect consumers’ pandemic priorities

“With mandated stay-at-home orders for much of America, the home became the epicenter of daily life with consumers looking for simple home health, entertainment and comforts,” said Charlie Taylor, global head of product client services at YouGov, in a statement.

As we take a look at the rankings of the top brands in 2020, it shows us how consumer behaviors changed drastically this past year and really showcased home entertainment being the center of our social lives. The spike in these categories were helped by the coronavirus pandemic, with an emphasis on cooking, cleaning, home improvement, e-commerce and streaming video while consumers spent more time at home.

Targeting consumers on their smartphones, and advertising your CPG products with options for “Find Nearby” and “Buy Online” are more important than ever, and those who are taking advantage of the present circumstances are also seeing a boost in sales.

Grocery Shoppers Splurging More Amid COVID-19 Surge

“According to CNBC and IRI data, consumers are now gravitating toward premium purchases such as higher-end coffees, cheeses and frozen entrees instead of value brands or private brands.”

Grocery shoppers are feeling like splurging more after months of stocking up on canned goods and other value items due to the pandemic. In a typical recession, Americans tend to trade down to less expensive brands or private brands. However, recent shopping data has shown that households — even those with lower incomes — may feel comfortable spending more on premium items, since they’ve cut spending in other categories as they mostly stay at home.

This trend has shown that just about every product from toilet paper to wild caught smoked salmon is being purchased more than ever before at your local grocery store. While restaurants have surely taken a hit, grocery stores have picked up the slack with people still wanting to have a nice meal, but making it at home instead. It will be interesting to see how long this trend continues with what surely seems like a difficult winter coming up and people retreating back into their homes especially in cold-weather states and cities.

Convenience Store Sales A Mixed Bag So Far In 2020

“Convenience retailers say that in-store sales are steady but fuel sales continue to lag, according to the results of a new NACS survey of U.S. convenience store owners.”

Most retailers responding to the survey (58 percent) say that in-store sales through the first nine months of 2020 are higher than the same time period a year ago. And, even more promising, 64 percent say in-store sales were up in September compared to last year. However, fuel sales continue to lag as COVID-19 continues to affect traditional commuting patterns.

COVID-19 is continuing to affect store operations as more convenience retailers embrace new ways to offer convenience during the pandemic:

  • 21 percent have added curbside pickup;
  • 21 percent have added contactless payment;
  • 14 percent are focusing more on drive thru; and
  • 14 percent have added delivery.

Meanwhile, nearly half of all retailers (46 percent) say they have reduced store operating hours, whether to provide deep cleaning or manage labor hours. The impact on the C-Store sector is clear, but being innovative and using platforms such as the media displays on fuel pumps to advertise, and targeting consumers in and around these C-Stores with attractive offers has helped to increase sales and bring people to these stores.


COVID-19 Multiplies Morning Momentum

This is America's favorite breakfast food

“According to “COVID-19: Reinventing How America Eats,” 55% of U.S. shoppers are eating at home more often since the pandemic began, with 44% of them eating breakfast at home every day, versus 33% before the pandemic.”

Despite all of the bad news coming out of this ongoing pandemic, the news is unquestionably good for breakfast food categories and the retailers that carry them. Both groups have the opportunity to maintain sales growth as consumers initially obliged to have breakfast at home discover that they actually enjoy preparing and eating what Mom always said was the most important meal of the day.

Again, this data and information further cements the fact that people are buying more than ever from grocery stores, highlighting the opportunity to market to those customers in and around the stores with ads and offers for just about every product. Customers are searching for easy meal solutions for the entire family and we’re seeing a growth in “nostalgia” items such as traditional cereals, which customers have been buying “at higher rates than we have seen in several years”; and within the cereal category, there’s been strong growth in healthier options for families.

Case in point, putting your product in front of customers at the right place at the right time is essential in maximizing your ROI and ROAS for any marketing campaign. With ShopAdvisor, we display your ads in and around grocery and retail stores, where your product is available based on Nielsen data. What are you waiting for? Click here to get in touch with us and learn more about boosting your sales to start the new year off

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