IRI announced the addition of the IRI CPG Supply Index to its online COVID-19 Info Portal and Data Dashboard. The new tool provides a standard metric for tracking weekly changes in the availability (in-stock rates) of CPG products in absolute terms as well as a relative measure compared to pre-pandemic levels across departments, retail formats and regions.
“COVID-19 is disrupting supply chains across the globe, which has made it extremely difficult for CPG businesses to track product availability metrics such as in-stock rates and is creating unprecedented local variation within each country,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer of IRI. “Our new CPG Supply Index provides insight into which products are making it to stores’ shelves and at what levels. This comprehensive solution uses IRI’s refined proprietary algorithms to model in-stock rates both in absolute terms and against measurements taken just before the COVID disruption — giving CPG retailers and manufacturers a holistic picture of how consumers experience out-of-stock issues.”
The IRI CPG Supply Index is calculated from daily point-of-sale and e-commerce transaction data reported from major chains’ macro inputs, including seasonality, events and holidays, as well as the COVID-19 spread rate by region. IRI then applies its proprietary on-shelf availability algorithms to this unparalleled data set. These algorithms leverage artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to produce accurate in-stock rates across departments and retail formats. The index also includes insights into in-stock rates by U.S. state and region for edible and non-edible products.
The solution allows users to choose between two different supply metrics: “In-Stock Percentage” and “Supply Index.” The In-Stock Percentage metric provides insight into in-stock rates in absolute terms. The Supply Index metric allows users to compare current in-stock rates with pre-COVID-19 levels using data collected during the week ended Feb. 23, 2020, as a baseline (represented as 100 in the index). For this metric, measurements above 100 indicate growth and measurements below indicate decline compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Key insights revealed by the IRI CPG Supply Index in recent weeks include:
- Supply continues to be lower compared to pre-COVID-19 levels but has remained steady in recent weeks. The week ending May 10 had the same In-Stock Percentage as the prior two weeks at the total CPG level.
- During the week ended May 10, categories in the edible section remained consistent with the prior week, with the lone exception of the beverages department, which took a slight dip week over week.
- Trends for non-edibles were similar to the edible section — seeing slight declines in only the home care and general merchandise departments.
Appel continued, “The insights gleaned from this index can be further enhanced by comparing them with data from the IRI CPG Demand Index, which measures consumer purchases, by dollar sales, against the year-ago period. As the Demand Index has shown, the pandemic has caused large increases and fluctuations in consumer purchasing, but the out of stocks will impact their overall and by-brand purchasing. When used together, IRI’s indices allow businesses to understand where they need to focus their efforts to optimize their production and supply chains to meet consumer needs in the rapidly changing environment.”