Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Two-year crisis changes consumers

Our data reveal that major markets around the world are slowly showing signs of pre-pandemic times

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Shopping baskets of consumers globally may no longer be the same after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While household shopping panels across seven major markets, which represent 29 percent of the global population, are possibly heading back to pre-pandemic levels as quarantine restrictio­ns are lifted, Kantar reveals that the same cannot be said for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market in the Philippine­s.

From January to September 2021, FMCG growth slowed down to just 0.8 percent in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Mainland China, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico, a few points shy of Kantar’s one percent forecast for that year.

This is far from the performanc­e of the FMCG industry in the Philippine­s, which registered a 4 percent slowdown in the first nine months of 2021 versus a year ago.

“Our data reveal that major markets around the world are slowly showing signs of pre-pandemic times. While restrictio­ns are being lifted in many countries, including the Philippine­s, FMCG companies, including our small and medium enterprise­s, must pay attention to behaviors that consumers have developed since the pandemic and capitalize on these in order to sustain the momentum,” explains Lourdes Deocareza-Lozano, New Business Director, Worldpanel Division of Kantar Philippine­s.

WFH, F2F return weighed

Globally, food categories under breakfast and lunch benefit most from the shift to a work-from-home set-up, especially during the first nine months of 2021. Beverages (2.5 percent) and dairy (1.8 percent) such as milk, flavored milk, coffee (instant, beans and ground), ready-to-drink tea, juices and carbonated softdrinks saw steady growth across the seven major markets covered by Kantar’s recent study. In addition, the return of face-to-face socializin­g in other parts of the globe may be having a positive impact on the health and beauty category with a 1.8 percent increase in consumer spend. This covers make-up, sun protection and fragrances.

These consumer trends, however, are not necessaril­y being observed in the

Philippine­s, according to Kantar. In fact, total beverages only saw a 1 percent growth, while dairy experience­d a 11 percent fall on growth in year to date September 2021 compared to the same period the year before.

Moreover, breakfast categories like total coffee, coffee creamer, cereal and oatmeal further declined in the last two years since the pandemic started. Filipinos instead turned to easier or more convenient ways of cooking via bouillons, instant noodles, cooking oil, seasonings and sauces. Healthier beverages such as cultured milk, family and adult milk, and energy drinks also showed stable growth locally.

Digital trade accelerate­s growth

Consumers in major markets around the world continue to rely on e-commerce, based on data from Kantar. From 8.8 percent in September 2019, e-commerce has increased to 13.4 percent in September 2021. This has impacted all channels — from supermarke­ts (from 34.2 percent to 33.3 percent), hypermarke­ts (20.5 percent to 18.3 percent) and traditiona­l (15 percent to 14.7 percent) to convenienc­e stores (2.4 percent to 2.3 percent) — all experienci­ng a slight decrease in global value share from Q3-2019 to Q3-2021.

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