Exceedra has just released a new white paper: Creating Clarity in COVID-19 – The New Norm for Retailers and Consumer Goods Manufacturers. On 15th March 2020, life in the UK changed as we knew it as we started to go into lockdown due to, with events being canceled, entertainment venues, and sports grounds closing and businesses changing to work from home, effectively shutting down entire industries.
COVID-19 has put consumer goods manufacturers into unknown waters on a global scale. It has caused changes in consumer buying behavior, with bulk buying, the resurgence of the weekly shop, and an increase in online shopping. Basket sizes have increased as fewer shopping trips per week were undertaken in the interests of safety. There has been a significant increase in home-based consumption and bulk buying, leading to many supply chain and stock issues.
During this time, we saw many changes such as grocery sales grew by 18.9% (Kantar) in the 4 weeks to June 14th. This is an increase on the previous 4-week period where growth was 17.2%. During the 4 weeks in March, in the immediate aftermath of lockdown starting, there was a growth of 20.6% reflecting the start of stockpiling and shift to increased home-based consumption.
Stockpiling became a universal reaction. Supermarket shelves emptied, scenes of aggressive behaviour were reported, and the supply chains were stretched to the limit to cope with the exceptional demand against a supply forecast that couldn’t have predicted this change. People began to hoard items, with toilet paper being the most popular (+500% sales increase).
Has the UK lockdown created a fundamental, sustained change in behaviour or is it a short-term blip? In this paper, we will be exploring what the future may look like for grocery retailers and consumer goods manufacturers.
How will consumers behave and what are their expectations?
What are the implications in the supply chain?
How do manufacturers and retailers respond?