The consumer goods industry has been profoundly impacted by COVID-19, according to Accenture’s seven waves of consumer research. The effects may be everlasting. The ways in which people live and work are different. How and what people buy is different. Consumers themselves have dramatically evolved. We see new archetypes emerging that CPGs companies must take notice of and respond to—fast.
CPGs must re-learn who their consumers are
Prior consumer segments—and the insights they’re built on—will need to be redefined to reflect new behaviors and preferences. CPG companies should get reacquainted with new and evolving consumer segments to understand the changes people have undergone and the values they now hold.
Wanting to be healthy is not new. How you enable it is.
COVID-19 has redefined and raised the stakes for what being healthy means. Consumers don’t want isolated products that serve one need. They want more holistic health and wellness solutions that help the whole person. CPG companies can partner across the ecosystem (technology, health and CPG companies) to develop products and services that address a variety of health and wellness needs, rather than following a one-off trend.
How can I be the best me?
of consumers will continue to shop more health consciously.
consumers will continue to exercise more and spend more time on self-care/mental wellbeing.
of consumers will continue washing their hands more.
consumers will continue using technology to access health care (e.g. telemedicine).
Consumer concern may have dipped from its peak in early April but has remained consistently high as consumers grapple with worries around their health, job security, and the state of the broader economy.
Overall, consumers feel restrictions are being lifted responsibly, but this has not translated into consumer confidence about visiting public places. In markets where retail restrictions have lifted, visits to non-essential retail are flattening out at reduced levels. In countries where the pandemic is stabilizing, 63% of people continue to reduce time spent in public places.
Home is the new "battleground": 67% of consumers plan to do most of their socializing from home. People are changing consumption patterns, connecting more online and seeking new ways to be entertained. CPG companies must plan and prepare for a shift to at-home occasions for the medium term. What’s more, they can seize this opportunity to serve these new social and creative occasions. For instance, offering products that recreate the experience of going out.
To help consumers feel more confident about returning to public places, some initiatives, such as requiring staff and the public to wear masks, must be pursued. CPG companies will need to prioritize the initiatives that will have the biggest impact on consumer confidence for your consumer base. Safety remains the priority, but the mix of methods may differ–including incentives. For instance, exclusive product offerings have shown promise.
COVID-19 & CPGs: Emerge stronger
People as consumers are thinking, shopping and behaving differently. In many ways, this pandemic has created an opportunity for CPGs to attract and engage with consumers in innovative new ways. Just as people are seeking to change for the better in this new era, so can businesses. This is the time to focus on the possibilities the future holds.