Household consumer packaged goods (CPG) spending in May 2020 was up 21% compared to May 2019, but not quite as impressive as the year-over-year increase in April 2020 (+29%) or March (+36%). These findings are part of new data released by NCSolutions (NCS), the leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the consumer packaged goods ecosystem.
Americans remain in what NCS has defined as the Home-Confined Buying stage of this COVID-era, even though by May 20, all 50 states had started the process to relax restrictions on a range of businesses, from restaurants to salons. NCS continues to define the current stage of CPG shopping as Home-Confined due to the elevated household spend on CPG products, indicating that Americans are eating home more often. Flour, extracts, frozen poultry and meat are among the categories that continue to have higher than usual sales.
“As Americans venture out more, there will be some adjustments to their shopping behavior. However, we have seen consumers embracing some of the behaviors they found during the height of the pandemic – such as more cooking and entertaining at home,” said Linda Dupree, CEO, NCSolutions. “It’s too early to tell what is likely to have a lasting effect, but the latest trend data shows buyers may be settling into these new routines. During this time of change, it has never been more important to understand the drivers of effective advertising.”
Home hair coloring is a category to watch in June, especially as salons reopen. Pre-COVID, spending on this beauty item was down 8%. During the Extreme Buying phase, year-over-year sales increased by 15%. By the end of May, it had risen even higher — to 22%. As the re-emergence period begins, beauty brands have an opportunity to cultivate brand loyalty among buyers they’ve acquired during the pandemic.
Day of week shopping: Pre-pandemic, Americans preferred to shop for groceries on Sundays. But with greater flexibility and concerns about social distancing, consumers are taking advantage of other weekend days. Saturday was the top-ranked shopping day for five of the 12 weeks since stay-at-home orders began, while Friday and Sunday each had the most spend for four of these weeks.
Toilet paper — the most coveted CPG item during the Extreme Buying phase — ranked at number 25 for the month, back to the position it held prior to the pandemic. However, average daily spending remains elevated, up 10% compared to the same period a year ago.