It has been a challenging couple of years for CPG. Supply chain issues, demand volatility, and the inability for consumers to safely shop in the physical world have added a level of uncertainty that has rocked marketers to the core.

But among these challenges there are also countless opportunities to follow the consumer to that “new normal” which is now part of every household’s vernacular.

What does the “new normal” mean for CPG?

We can find some clues by looking at grocery, where the shift to premium brands (“premiumization”) has increased across all income levels.

The pandemic pulled people out of restaurants and into their kitchens. Disposable cash increased further as budgets for line items such as filling the gas tank of the family car freed up thanks to remote work. With so many cooking at home, certain go-to brands may have been sold out or unavailable.

Consumers used that extra cash to explore new, higher cost brands with premium ingredients….and it is hard to go back, isn’t it? Tik Tok and streaming services also provided new channels to learn how to integrate new, creative ideas into our lifestyles.

Now that things are starting to return to “normal,” what does that mean for CPG? Will these trends continue, or drop off and consumers return to their pre-pandemic buying behaviors?

While it is still too early to conclude what employers will decide long term about working remotely, people have certainly started showing back up to support their favorite restaurants. Most agree though, that some elements of our lives and accordingly, our buying behaviors will never be the same, and some of these changes are here to stay.

Consumers have changed how they shop.

Post-COVID CPG Business - NextLevel

How has COVID changed CPG? Let NextLevel help you navigate the shifts.

Consumers naturally turned to digital shopping during the pandemic.

Online ordering and home delivery soared, appealing to segments of the population that previously resisted these modes of securing even the most basic consumer goods.

75% of surveyed people who subscribe to multiple delivery services say they will continue to use those services. It’s highly likely those services will remain in place. And that changes how – and what – consumers purchase.

Now is the time to invest in digital content and offerings. People are online and not stopping.

How can you navigate these post-Covid CPG challenges and opportunities?

Established companies and brands will have little trouble adapting and taking advantage of the new CPG environment.

But what about new brands? Is there an opportunity for them to grow or expand into the space as well?

A word of warning for new/less established brands: You will face challenges taking advantage of these opportunities.

There have been a lot of behavior shifts online. Will what has worked in the past work now? How do you get your product samples out there? How can you differentiate from the competition when you aren’t able to be in person? These same challenges apply for new products and adjustments to existing product offerings.

Newcomers to the online space will need to be nimble and provide lots of digital assets and storytelling content to better indicate how they differentiate from the competition.

We predict online will be a high competition area, but also an opportunity for those able to take advantage.

It is important to factor in these dynamics when thinking about whether your product strategy needs to change going into the back half of 2021 and into 2022. Consider engaging with a firm that has the experience and tools to understand the current consumer landscape and can help you determine the best path forward for your products.

The NextLevel team has abundant data and real time experience delving more deeply into post-Covid consumer trends that could be relevant to your brand. The impact of the prevalence of pickup and delivery services is just one example. Which trends are relevant to you?

If you need help determining the implications the current consumer environment on your CPG business, our team is standing by to have a conversation with you. Ask us how you can benefit from our Q3 incentive program for new clients!