How consumer spending on FMCG has changed since pandemic

Changes in the consumption of fast-moving consumer packaged goods since the pandemic have been outlined in a new report, showcasing where shoppers are now willing to spend more money.

YouGov’s ‘International FMCG/CPG report 2021: Consumer goods in a crisis’ reveals that just over a year since those dramatic scenes of bare supermarket shelves and enforced limitations on toilet paper and pasta, around half of Australians (48 per cent) admit that their shopping habits have changed since the pandemic began.

With much of the focus last year being to stay at home and stay clean, over a third (36 per cent) have bought more home cleaning products.

Of all the consumer goods YouGov polled Australians on, it is fruits and vegetables that most shoppers report spending more on, with 30 per cent saying their consumption has increased.

Shoppers have also stocked up more on frozen foods in the past year, with almost 28 per cent reporting increased consumption. This is followed by junk food and food cupboard items (both 27 per cent), ready-meals (20 per cent), dairy items (19 per cent) and bakery goods (18 per cent).

Cosmetic products did not quite see the same spike in consumption, with only nine per cent reporting an increase in spending. Overall, two in 10 (21 per cent) say they are now spending less on cosmetics.

About one in five (20 per cent) Singaporeans say their buy their groceries or household essentials via online supermarkets, and a third (32 per cent) have done so in the past month. Aussies aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to buy their groceries online, with half (51 per cent) doing so in the past month.

YouGov also asked shoppers how they foresee their habits changing as a result of the pandemic. A third (34 per cent) say they are now more likely to buy things in bulk. About a third (32 per cent) agree they will be shopping more online – a sentiment echoed particularly by younger shoppers (aged 25 to 34) with half (51 per cent) agreeing with this statement.

Older shoppers are less likely to be reverting to online shopping post-pandemic, with only one in six (16 per cent) over the age of 55 agreeing that they will make more use of online shopping / delivery. Two thirds (66 per cent) say they will make more of an effort to support local businesses and half (50 per cent) say they will buy more sustainable products in the future.

Ervin Ha, Head of Data Products for YouGov APAC: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created both challenges and opportunities within the FMCG sector. It hasn’t had a one-size-fits-all impact on shopping behaviour and there are very real differences between different categories and markets. Whether these changes will be long-lasting or short-term remains to be seen but, as we enter the second year of the crisis, understanding consumer sentiment will be for keeping FMCG players on the front foot.”

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