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How Does the Trajectory of the Pandemic Impact FMCG Trends in 2021?

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With the cold weather and a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, many consumers and consumer brands are experiencing fatigue, wondering what is coming next and yet again, how to pivot and respond.

What will FMCG trends look like post-COVID?

Seismic market shifts are happening in consumer sentiment and needs, from stockpiling to a focus on immune health to new buying patterns. Consumer goods sectors like frozen food, pet care, and vitamins have seen unprecedented growth, while others have experienced pressures related to other macro FMCG trends that are converging at the same time – the emergence of DTC brands, the rapid rise of e-commerce, an economic recession, continued interest in sustainability and more.

Now, as we enter the latest phase of the pandemic, new questions arise on how consumers are responding and adapting, yet again, to the new reality. To help provide answers, which may impact supply chain, sales and marketing for our clients in the FMCG sector, our data team has developed a model that lines up consumer needs and sentiments along the trajectory of the pandemic. What’s unique about their prediction is that it is based on analysis of social chatter, not case numbers alone.

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Even more interesting to FMCG brands are the chatter topics associated with COVID-19:

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Advanced analytics yield fresh insights into latest consumer needs

Early on in the pandemic, many consumer goods manufacturers were caught off guard with the speed in which consumer needs and sentiments shifted. With the lessons learned over the last 9 months and the refinement of analytic models based on relevant, connected data sets and curated taxonomies created to extract timely insights, FMCG brands are now in a better position to manage the new, constantly changing landscape.

The Signals Analytics platform provides a good framework for FMCG brands to turn insight into action. For example, as the models above show the continued growth of COVID-19 cases matched by elevated discussions around depression, FMCG brands may focus on how their products can enhance people’s moods and reduce anxiety. 

Digging deeper into the food ecosystem with advanced analytics that connects more than 13,000 data sources with specialized taxonomies, it is possible to see what product attributes consumers and key influencers associate with mood and anxiety. Using the analytic model below that looks at trend associations across 21 food categories, brands are able to analyze their own product portfolios and strategize what to promote or highlight in packaging; they are able to ascertain opportunities for reformulating products to feature specific ingredients; and more tactically, they are able to revamp campaign strategies and messaging to target consumer sentiment in this area. (Note: the thicker the line, the stronger the association; the color of the bubble denotes sentiment. Red is negative, green is positive.)

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Pivoting to the Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements (VMS) Category in the Deep-Dive analytic app, more clues abound for FMCG brands looking to align with consumer sentiment.  Depression as a keyword increased significantly (67.7%) in consumer discussions quarter over quarter and 400% with key influencers. Most notable, depression was mentioned in 2.4% of all innovations in this space in the last quarter, up 40% from the prior quarter indicating this is indeed a hot space for VMS brands.

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Of interest to this discussion in particular, is this social post which highlights Lavender Oil. This ingredient may be in beauty products but also can be found in teas and as an essential oil for food (must be diluted and used carefully).

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This is one example of how an FMCG brand would leverage the Signals Analytics platform to surface meaningful market intelligence that can inform strategic and tactical next steps given changing market conditions and the trajectory of COVID-19. Businesses configure the platform to suit their needs, from the data sources, to the taxonomies (rules associated with the data) to the models so the outcomes are relevant and actionable. Companies that have adopted this approach have experienced faster time to market, fewer product launch mistakes and modifications post-launch and significantly higher sales.

For information on how the new COVID-19 model can work for your business along with a configured taxonomy, contact our solutions team.

Media inquiries

Chris Thatcher
5W Public Relations 646-430-5161
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