UK FMCG BRAND SURVEY IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON FMCG MARKETING - INFOGRAPHIC

Discover our infographic presenting the results of our survey of UK FMCG brands about the impact of Covid-19.
Download our full report to see more detailed results.

UK FMCG brands survey infographic

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UK CONSUMERS SURVEY RESULTS - WEEK 10 OF LOCKDOWN - INFOGRAPHIC

Discover our infographic presenting the results of our survey of UK grocery shoppers during Week 10 of Lockdown.
Download our full report to see more detailed results. 

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UK “LOCKDOWN” GROCERY SHOPPER SURVEY

A survey of UK grocery shoppers during Week 3 of Lockdown by mobile app Shopmium, found shoppers are looking for value and inspiration from brands right now. The survey also found that that the vast majority of UK shoppers (85%) DO NOT anticipate using online grocery services more once “Social Distancing” measures are lifted.

HOUSEHOLD BUDGETS ARE BEING SQUEEZED

The survey, completed by a cross-section of over 1,300 UK grocery shoppers between 9th April and 14th April showed that UK shopping budgets were being squeezed;

  • 36% of shoppers claim that they have less disposable income since the start of “Lockdown”
  • 66% of shoppers are looking for ways to save money during the crisis
  • 87% would like to see more value from grocery brands

Despite that, consumers are still keen to hear from brands with over half saying that they want brands to provide Inspiration and Ideas to try at home. There is also still an appetite amongst consumers to discover and try new products (97%), with over one-third (36%) who have both tried and plan to repurchase a food or drink product that they hadn’t bought before:

  • 52% want grocery brands to help provide Inspiration and Ideas to try at home
  • 97% are still keen in discovering & trying new products during this time
  • 36% of shoppers have both tried and plan to buy again a food or drink product that they hadn’t bought before.

SHOPPERS ADHERING TO GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES

It seems the majority of shoppers are adhering to the UK government advice, as 53% have only visited a supermarket ONCE or NOT AT ALL in the last 7 days. And 30% say they have done grocery shopping only TWICE in that period.

  • 70% of those surveyed were shopping for 3 or more people

ONLINE GROCERY SERVICES NOT GETTING CUT THROUGH

 

77% of shoppers had shopped “in-store” in the last 7 days, with only 22% having used a delivery or click & collect services.

Contrary to popular belief, only 15% of shoppers anticipate that they will use online delivery or click & collect services more after social distancing measures are lifted with the vast majority saying that they believe their habits will return to normal.

WHAT SHOPPERS WANT

 

The majority of UK shoppers (52%) say that Keeping Healthy is one of the biggest challenges at home with a further 42% claiming that finding inspiration for things to do was also very challenging. 

A whopping 71% say that they are using their mobile more than before Lockdown, with understandably 78% saying they are spending more time on social media but 40% spending more time related to shopping through mobile and 25% spending more time looking at Blogs & recipe content.

When it comes to Recipe content, consumers want:

  • Quick & Easy Meals – 68%
  • Healthy Recipes – 63%
  • Baking Recipes – 50%

Shopmium’s UK Head, Stuart Sankey, says “As we get used to our new norm in “Lockdown”, it’s clear to see that shopping in-store remains and will continue to remain prominent, but there is also an important role for FMCG brands to play in addition to providing value at a time of need and that is continuing to inspire and innovate. It’s a tremendous opportunity for brands to connect with consumers and shoppers and start to build a long-lasting relationship.”

For the full report, email: uk@shopmium.com

The Survey

The survey was conducted online amongst an unbiased cross-section of UK Shopmium users between 9th and 14th April 2020 (Week 3 of “UK Lockdown”). There were 1,354 survey respondents. The UK Shopmium user base is national, with geographical split in line with the national population split. Shopmium users are typically 73% female, with approx. 70% aged between 20 and 45 – primary household shoppers.

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UK “LOCKDOWN” GROCERY SHOPPER SURVEY - INFOGRAPHIC

Discover our infographic presenting the results of our survey of UK grocery shoppers during Week 3 of Lockdown. Please find the full blog post detailing our findings here.
To get the full report with all the detailed results, please email us at uk@shopmium.com
.

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The Survey

The survey was conducted online amongst an unbiased cross-section of UK Shopmium users between 9th and 14th April 2020 (Week 3 of “UK Lockdown”). There were 1,354 survey respondents. The UK Shopmium user base is national, with geographical split in line with the national population split. Shopmium users are typically 73% female, with approx. 70% aged between 20 and 45 – primary household shoppers.

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Socializing While “Social Distancing”: How Your Brand Can Thoughtfully Connect with Shoppers During COVID-19

In just a few short weeks, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has impacted shoppers as millions of people are being asked to stay at home by health officials and their employers, directly impacting their daily routines and purchase behaviors. Shoppers are being asked to practice “Social Distancing,”—leading to work-from-home policies, online schooling for children and college students, and, for some industries, unemployment.

But Social Distancing isn’t stopping shoppers from being social…

It’s no surprise that more time at home has made a direct impact on social media consumption. More people than ever are tuning in to their social feeds to track real-time news and updates, virtually communicate with friends and family, pass the time while they can’t go out, and look for inspiration and comfort in their “new normal.”

Between March 11 and 17, Shopmium’s internal paid media team saw a 30%+ spike in impression inventory across all of its campaigns, meaning more users were tuning into Social, driving more opportunity than ever for brands to reach new and engaged audiences across platforms.

What it means for FMCG Brands and Retailers

During this time, people are turning to digital and actively seeking out ways to connect. Brands and retailers that understand this and look for ways to help shoppers during this time will stand the best chance of winning during—and most importantly, after—this pandemic is over.

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Here’s how your brand can tap in to Social to help shoppers:

1. Provide shoppers with valuable information they’re already searching for. 

While consumers are panic buying, they aren’t panic searching—instead, they are looking for valuable information, like “how long should I wash my hands?”. This means Social can—and should—be viewed as a platform for your brand to deliver valuable ideas and insights to shoppers during a time when they need it most. So where to begin? Tap into the topics that are most top-of-mind for consumers right now.

Shopmium’s Ahalogy Muse platform saw spikes in popularity around topics like “Homeschooling” (40% increase), “Cupboard Staples” (115% increase), and “Immune System” (158% increase) during the past 30 days.  Insert your brand into the conversation by providing category-relevant helpful content. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Cupboard staple recipes for the family (what to do with all that extra pasta, beans, etc.) featuring your Food & Beverage brand
  • Tips for hand washing (when, how long, etc.) starring your Hand Soap brand
  • Tips to keep high-traffic areas of the home sanitised during a quarantine starring your Household Cleaning brand

The bottom-line? Use this time as a way to educate shoppers, while tying in your brand in a thoughtful way. Rather than shutting down all media efforts due to inventory outages and fear of being insensitive, Social can actually help put your brand at the forefront of the conversation in a wholly authentic way. 

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2. Find ways to help shoppers connect on Social during a time of “social distancing”

Despite mandated time spent at home, people are still finding ways to connect. Increased awareness of anxiety & depression is one of many reasons people today are hyper-aware of the need to connect with others during this time, especially those living alone. Through usage of tools that make real-time virtual communication possible, like Facebook and Instagram Story apps and Zoom, we are seeing a sudden rise of virtual happy hours, online recipe shares and live-stream cooking classes, virtual neighbourhood meet-ups, community watch parties, and more.

Your brand can get in on the fun while providing valuable ideas and inspiration for shoppers with the help of Shopmium’s Social-Amplification solution. Here are some ideas:

  • Influencers can host live stream “cupboard staple recipe” how-to videos featuring your Food brand
  • Beverage and Adult Beverage brands can own the “virtual happy hour” trend by inspiring shoppers with influencer-created cocktail recipe ideas and tips for throwing a happy hour online
  • Household brands can have influencers host a weekly live stream “Sanitisation Series” featuring their products and tips for keeping the home clean during this time

You can tap into Shopmium’s network to get started. Whether it’s repurposing old content or driving new ideas with the help of Social, our team can help your brand activate on these new consumer behaviors. 

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone—from the brands and retailers trying to navigate this current climate to shoppers looking for answers. Planning ahead and evolving campaign plans to align with today’s behavior is critical now more than ever. The most important thing to remember is that we are all figuring this out together: Shopmium will continue to be a trusted partner, delivering insights, education, and strategic advice for our clients and partners that face new challenges during this time.

Shopmium can help your brand provide value to shoppers during this difficult time. For further insights, reach out to your Shopmium representative or contact uk@shopmium.com

*Sources: 1 Quotient Internal Data (March 13 – March 26, 2020); 2 Quotient Internal Data (Ahalogy Muse, February 26 – March 26), 3 Quotient Internal Reporting (Q1 2020)

Sampling goes digital

Product sampling goes digital

Product sampling is a well-known marketing technique to encourage trial, recruit new customers and drive sales. But in the age of digital marketing and social networks, is it still relevant? Can it continue to attract consumers who increasingly use their mobile phone to make purchasing decisions? In this article, we look at product sampling, its recent evolution and the benefits for FMCG brands.

Strong consumer appetite

 

British consumers are particularly fond of samples. The “try before you buy” trend is developing in a growing number of industries. Consumers are increasingly sceptical about product claims and want to verify the benefits of a product for themselves before spending their money.

A report from Sampling Effectiveness Advisors shows that 73% of consumers are likely to buy a product after trying it. Only 25% said the same thing about seeing a television commercial.

In addition, in a survey conducted by YA:

  • 77% of consumers said receiving a sample of a product would incentivise them to try another product from that brand
  • 42% said they often or always switch from a brand they normally buy to a new brand as a result of trying a sample

These figures confirm that product sampling is an effective way to build brand affinity, create an emotional connection and generate sales in-store. It is a strategy that be easily implemented to support a product launch or reach a new target.

The power of word-of-mouth

 

Product sampling does not only have an impact on the consumer who tested the product. It also contributes to word-of-mouth. A Nielsen study shows that 59% of consumers are likely to tell others about new products they’ve experienced.

The study highlights that the most persuasive source of new product information is word-of-mouth advice (for 77% of respondents). People are much more likely to buy a product when they learn about it from family and friends than through other channels.

According to McKinsey, word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions. Word-of-mouth can be experiential (resulting from a direct experience with a product), consequential (triggered by marketing activities) or intentional (driven by celebrity endorsements for example). It has significant influence when consumers are buying a product for the first time.

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New product sampling solutions

 

While product sampling remains an effective marketing strategy, just like for couponing, new digital solutions are opening up new possibilities. Mobile apps such as Shopmium are reinventing sampling, allowing consumers to test products for free or for a discounted price.

With Shopmium, consumers purchase FMCG products in-store and receive a full or partial refund. We regularly work with leading brands to encourage product trial, recruit new buyers and drive shoppers to store.

This new form of sampling is much more targeted, aimed at consumers who are likely to have strong brand or product affinity. This means campaigns are much less expensive and more profitable. In addition, the results and return on investment can be measured precisely. Digital product sampling also reduces waste, contributing to greater sustainability.

Another advantage of sampling 2.0 is that consumer data is collected throughout the process, allowing brands to know more about their shoppers and uncover relevant insights for new product development and innovation.

While sampling 2.0 relies mainly on digital solutions, other approaches have emerged such as Degustabox, a subscription-based surprise food box containing a selection of products from leading brands. The selection is personalised based on the customer profile.

Brands leveraging product sampling

 

Many FMCG brands have made product sampling a key part of their marketing strategy:

  • General Mills invested in product sampling to support the launch of Larabar in the UK. Richard Williams, Business Director of New Ventures at General Mills Europe told Baking Business that the brand decided to focus on “touchpoints that drive brand awareness and engagement such as social, targeted experiential sampling and partnerships with key influencers in the nutrition/wellness space.”

 

  • Mars Pet Care partnered with Shopmium to drive awareness of its premium cat treat Sheba Creamy Snacks, the brand’s first care and treat product. A sampling campaign was designed to drive trial and educate on the product usage and application. Consumers could try the product for free through the Shopmium mobile app. The brand also launched a TV commercial and a digital media campaign.

 

  • Fentimans invested £1.2 million in an outdoor campaign designed to attract a younger audience and supported by digital, sampling and experiential activities. Andrew Jackson, Marketing Director at Fentimans, shared with The Spirits Business: “We know from our insight work that flavour and quality ingredients are key preference drivers in the category, and when consumers discover Fentimans, their flavour expectations are usually exceeded.”

 

  • Mondelēz launched the Cadbury Darkmilk range with a £6 million marketing campaign based on in-store activation, sampling, PR and digital activity. Kate Wall, Mondelēz Marketing Manager for Cadbury, said: “In testing, Cadbury Darkmilk achieved our best ever results for both taste and concept”.

 

  • HiPP, the organic baby food brand, has regularly launched sampling campaigns to drive awareness of its products and recruit new customers. It has rolled-out both traditional sampling campaigns, with partners such as iChild, and digital sampling campaigns, working with Shopmium.

Critical Success Factors

 

In order for product sampling campaign to reach their objectives, it is critical to:

  • Ensure proper targeting: while sampling was traditionally massive and untargeted, new digital solutions help have a more targeted approach in order to reach the most relevant consumers. The right targeting criteria helps maximise the return on investment of sampling campaigns.

 

  • Diversify your media mix: a product sampling campaign will be all the more successful if it is supported by other media. The key is to find the right media mix with complementary tactics, from traditional to digital.

 

  • Choose the right timing: timing also plays an important role. Try to find a period of the year that makes sense for your product to launch your sampling campaign. You can also leverage promotional periods and major events. At Shopmium, we regularly organise campaigns around special events.

As a conclusion, product sampling is a powerful way to generate product trial, support new launches or reach a new target. Thanks to new digital solutions such as Shopmium, product sampling can now be more targeted and more profitable, with measurable results. The benefits of product sampling go beyond its immediate impact: it also helps boost word-of-mouth and despite the potential higher cost per unit than raditional sampling, the brand actually recruits a shopper for the first time, driving a full price real life sale as well as someone who is much more likely to go on and re-purchase as they’ve already completed the purchase cycle once. Several brands regularly engage in product sampling as part of their marketing strategy. To succeed, it is critical to have the right target, the right media mix and the right timeline. If you would like to discuss new sampling opportunities, do not hesitate to reach out to us! We would be delighted to help you design a product sampling campaign!

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Panic buying is in full swing: how the coronavirus is affecting consumer behaviour

The spread of the coronavirus across the UK has generated panic buying, encouraging many consumers to stockpile basic items at an alarming rate. Supermarkets have had to face extraordinary demand causing empty shelves and supply disruptions throughout the country. In this article, we explore the impact of the coronavirus on consumer behaviours and consequences for retailers and major brands.

Consumers started stockpiling early March

 

The UK market showed early signs of stockpiling, well before the country moved to stage 2 and took stricter measures to contain the spread. According to a survey conducted by HIM & MCA Insight, at the beginning of March:

  • More than 2 out of 3 UK consumers (67%) were concerned in some way about shops running out of groceries in case of a major coronavirus outbreak
  • 1 in 3 UK consumers (34%) had already started stockpiling
  • 30% of buyers stockpiling said they planned on spending over £100 while 5% claimed they would spend over £500

Consumers have been purchasing large quantities of both food and non-food items, including pasta, rice, water, milk, canned foods, pet food, disinfectant, wipes and toilet paper. These behaviours have escalated as the virus has expanded across Europe, with large queues forming outside of supermarkets.

Blonnie Walsh, Head of Insight at HIM & MCA Insight told Food Navigator: “The perceived growing threat of coronavirus is becoming more of a concern for UK grocery shoppers and that is being reflected in their beliefs and actions.”

The government has been trying to reassure citizens and contain panic buying. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC: “There is absolutely no need for anybody to stockpile or anything like that.” He added: “I understand people’s concerns if they go to the supermarket and see that… products are not there. There really is no need to buy things in volume.”

The British Retail Consortium also issued a statement on March 15th in which it urges consumers to be reasonable. It pleaded: “We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop. We understand your concerns, but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.”

Major supermarkets are restricting purchases of basic items

 

To avoid supply disruptions, several supermarket chains have introduced restrictions such as:

  • Aldi, which has restricted all items in-store to four units maximum per customer (the most drastic measure to date)
  • Asda, which has implemented a two-item limit on hand sanitizer and cleaning products
  • Morrisons, which has introduced a maximum order number on selected products
  • Ocado, which has limited toilet roll purchase to two 12-packs per customer
  • Tesco, which has announced that consumers can no longer buy more than five of certain goods including antibacterial gels, wipes and sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables
  • Waitrose, which is restricting online sales of soaps and wipes

In addition, to help meet demand and replenish shelves, the government has temporarily extended authorised delivery hours. Environment Secretary George Eustice explained: “By allowing night-time deliveries to our supermarkets and food retailers, we can free them up to move their stocks more quickly from their warehouses to the shelves”.

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Online grocery shopping has become more popular

 

To avoid contacts, many consumers have also turned to online grocery shopping. However, retailers have a limited number of vans and are not equipped to absorb the exceptional demand. As a result, there is now a long wait for a delivery slot.

Ocado, which exclusively operates online, has been struggling to satisfy orders. It announced on March 13th that is was no longer accepting new customers. It indicated on its Facebook page: “In this time of unusual demand, we have made the call to temporarily prioritise deliveries for you, our existing customers. This means, after today we will not be processing new customer bookings for the time being.” The retailer has also had to make changes to its app and website to avoid them crashing due to the high number of visitors.

Online grocery shopping currently accounts for around 7% of the grocery market in the UK. The question is whether the surge will last beyond the coronavirus crisis and consumers will truly change their shopping behaviours. Some experts have pointed out that it cannot be a lasting solution.

Bruno Monteyne for example, European Food Retail Senior Analyst at Bernstein, told the BBC’s Today show as reported by The Daily Express: “Online grocery shopping will not survive, that’s a pipedream. It’s the most inefficient way of getting food to your house, you get someone else to pick and deliver it for you. If we’re going to have five to 10 percent labour shortages, it’s much more important that a person fills the shelf than he sits there driving a truck.”

FMCG brands are working hard to satisfy demand

 

In this context, some FMCG brands have increased their production to meet the demand such as PZ Cussons. A company spokesperson told The Daily Mail: “We have significantly increased the production of Carex hand gel and hand wash products, with our manufacturing facilities working at full capacity in response to the exceptional demand being experienced”.

However, many FMCG brands could soon face supply disruptions. According to a survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management, 75% of companies are seeing capacity disruptions in their supply chains as a result of coronavirus-related transportation restrictions. This includes Coca-Cola, which has indicated that it could face difficulties in supply of artificial sweeteners coming from China used in its Diet Coke range.

But the UK is in a very unique situation. There is a high amount of stock in the country due to the reserves set up last year in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit scenario. Tom Enright, Research Vice President of Global Retail Supply Chain at Gartner, told WIRED that many companies “have had unusual levels of inventory already. How long they will last depends on how big they were in the first place. Most of them will have a few weeks of inventory. The bigger challenge now is whether the stock is in the right place.”

Other European countries face similar situations

 

Panic buying hasn’t only happened in the UK. With the coronavirus spreading across Europe, many countries have been facing similar situations including France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain.

According to Nielsen, Italian consumers quickly made precautionary purchases in response to the acceleration of the pandemic in their country. Between February 17th and 23rd, sales of FMCG products rose by 8.3%, with an 11.2% increase in the Lombardy-Venezia-Liguria region. In Lombardy alone, on Sunday February 23rd, purchases increased by 87%.

In addition, Italian households also turned to online shopping. Nielsen notes that the increase in online purchases of FMCG products reached 57%, well above the trend for all channels (+8.3%).

In France, consumers rushed to supermarkets on February 29th, right after the country moved to the stage 2 of the epidemic, with sales up by more than 20% across a representative set of FMCG categories. The categories that experienced the strongest growth were pasta and canned fish (+100%), cereals (+ 70%), rice and mashed potatoes (+ 50%) as well as canned vegetables, oils and bottled water (+ 40% to + 50%).

The coronavirus spread has thus caused massive panic buying in the UK and across Europe. Fearing confinement, households have been stockpiling basic items. These purchases have benefited major FMCG brands, which have experienced record sales in recent weeks. The coronavirus outbreak has also boosted online grocery shopping, with a dramatic increase in the number of orders. As the epidemic settles in Europe, this phenomenon is likely to persist. Many FMCG brands are working on strategies to meet demand and avoid supply shortages. It remains to be seen whether this unprecedented situation will have a lasting impact on consumer behaviours.

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OUR FAVOURITE CAMPAIGNS FROM FEBRUARY 2020

A selection of our favourite campaigns from February 2020

 

SERIOUSLY

Seriously used the Shopmium App to raise awareness and generate trial of Seriously Melting Pot, the ultimate cheesy, gooey, comfort food for the cold winter evenings.

The campaign was launched around Valentines Day to communicate on how the product was the perfect fit for that special occasion.

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LE JOLI

Le Joli is pure sparkling water infused with natural flavours and nothing else: no artificial ingredients, sugars or sweeteners.

The brand used Shopmium for its mutipacks to recruit new consumers but also to drive awareness of where the new multipack product can be found in store.


MINOR FIGURES

Minor Figures is a coffee company that makes coffee products for coffee lovers: Oat Milk, Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, Chai…

The brand used Shopmium to support trial of the product and support their initial listing within Sainsbury’s across their Black Coffee and Oat milk Latte SKUs.

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How Innovation brands are making a name for themselves

More and more consumers are choosing to buy products from smaller companies. Why are Innovation brands so attractive? What strategies do they use to appeal to consumers and differentiate themselves from market leaders? In this article, we explore the techniques used by Innovation brands to stand out in the ultra-competitive FMCG market.

Innovation brands are thriving

 

Innovation brands are increasingly popular with British consumers. According to the UK data from the IRI European Shopper Insights Survey, when buying packaged food:

  • 10% of UK consumers prefer national/local brands
  • 48% of UK consumers say they strike a balance between big and local brands
  • 43% of UK consumers favour big/international brands

McKinsey research shows that Millennials are almost four times more likely than baby boomers to avoid buying products from “the big food companies.”

As such, Innovation brands are being given more shelf space in supermarkets. By doing so, retailers hope to differentiate their proposition and increase their margins as Innovation brands are often premium, sold at a higher price than large FMCG brands.

Chris Green, co-founder of the Young Foodies community, explained in a guest article published by Food Navigator: “Small brands are thriving giving their easy access to consumers, strong fit with Millennial preferences, and pull from mass merchants seeking to differentiate themselves”.

Innovation brands are committed

 

One of the reasons Innovation brands appeal to consumers is because they tend to have a clear purpose. According to the Accenture Consumer Pulse research, 64% of consumers are now belief-driven buyers who want brands to deliver on societal issues, as well as products. Bill Theofilou, Accenture Strategy Senior Managing Director, said: “Many companies have neglected to convey purpose due to complacency, lethargy or the fear of polarizing people, which has allowed smaller players to rise.”

Doisy & Dam for example defines itself as a sustainable confectioner. Its products are made from ethically-sourced chocolate with natural ingredients only and no palm oil. The brand is a B Corp, committed to being a force for good. It says it strives for “better ingredients, better ethics and better chocolate”. The brand has recently secured a £750k cash boost to drive new product development and point of sale marketing.

The peanut butter brand Pip & Nut also prides itself on being a responsible business. It says its works with ethical suppliers who invest back in their local community through infrastructure, social and agroforestry projects. Its employees also regularly volunteer in their community, giving back to people in need. The brand has been experiencing steady growth and has recently expanded its range with nut butter cups.

Innovation brands are digital

 

In addition to being committed, Innovation brands are smart at marketing. As Jenny Frazier, BASES Global Commercial Leader at Nielsen, points out in an article: “Small brands know they’re up against a lot. They’re trying to break through in a crowded marketplace and so they use whatever tools at their disposal to create personalized, targeted, buzzworthy marketing. While small brands often have smaller budgets, they’re more likely to invest in the right level of marketing support for their brand.”

Many Innovation brands are capitalising on digital marketing to advance their reputation. The brand of fresh plant-based food The Meatless Farm for example has been leveraging digital channels to grow its customer base. It developed a comprehensive content strategy to offer recipe inspiration across all mealtime occasions. The brand has a strong social media presence, with 56,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 10,000 followers on Facebook. The Meatless Farm also partnered with Shopmium to encourage consumers to try its fresh plant-based burgers and drive sales in-store.

Another example is The Snaffling Pig. The pork snacks brand has been using digital to change product perceptions and grow its audience. It is very active on social media. In December 2019, the brand asked followers on Twitter to help find a name for its new Warehouse. The Snaffling Pig also recently teamed up with food influencers to promote its British gammon steaks range.

Innovation brands are fun

 

Many Innovation brands are also fun, friendly and engaging. The crisp brand Popchips applies these principles to its online interactions and conversations with its fans. Helen Bromley, Popchips Marketing Manager, told Netimperative: “We believe that ‘better for you’ doesn’t have to be boring, and leverage our light-hearted and positive brand personality to create feel good, uplifting experiences for our snackers that set us apart from other bland and serious snack brands.

This is also the approach taken by the granola brand The Paleo Foods Company, which says it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Claire Dinsmore, Paleo Foods Company Founder and Director, shared with FoodBev: “We’re not too high and mighty about the paleo diet itself. We believe in down-to-earth, healthy eating with a friendly and fun approach.” She added: “Hopefully our strap line, ‘established 10,000BC’, gets this sentiment across”.

Innovation brands are local

 

Innovation brands also put forward their local footprint. A growing number of UK consumers prefer to buy local brands to help support local and small producers. Olly Abotorabi, Senior Regional Insights Manager at IRI, said:We’re seeing local and national brands starting to win consumers’ hearts and minds. In the UK in particular we have a vibrant and innovative ‘local scene’ where challenger brands are emerging as winners, driven by huge amounts of creativity and a desire for authenticity and provenance.”

The brand Billy Franks has given a British twist to an American classic. Billy Franks says it makes “craft British beef and turkey jerky”. The brand only uses British beef and natural plant-based ingredients. Its packets clearly state “British beef jerky”. Billy Franks is sold in an increasing number of stores across the country.

Country Life butter also claims it is “proudly British”, displaying the Union Jack on its packaging. All of its products are made from British milk, coming from dairy farms across the country. Emilie Grundy, Country Life Senior Brand Manager told FoodBev: “British provenance is increasingly seen as a signifier of quality, which is a key driver choice within the butter and spreadable category.”

As a conclusion, Innovation brands are attracting more and more consumers by being committed, digital, fun and by claiming a strong local footprint. Millennials in particular favour Innovation brands as they believe there are more in tune with their values. While Innovation brands generally have greater freedom than big brands, the latter can learn from their marketing techniques.

As reported by The Financial Times, Jorge Paulo Lemann, the Brazilian investor behind both AB InBev and 3G Capital, which partly owns Kraft Heinz foods, told the Milken Institute conference that he felt like “a dinosaur”. He shared: “I’ve been living in this cosy world of old brands, big volumes, nothing changing very much. You can just focus on being efficient and you’ll do OK. And, all of a sudden, we’re being disrupted in all ways.”

The paradigm shift has encouraged several major groups to acquire Innovation brands, such as Lipton, which acquired the Innovation tea and supplement brand Pukka, and Heineken, which now owns the craft beer brand Lagunitas. Another option for large groups is to develop their own Innovation brands in-house, as L’Oréal did with its new organic brand La Provençale. By combining both large and Innovation brands, FMCG leaders will ensure that they cover mainstream needs while maximising small pockets of growth. Small is the new big!

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Why seasonal sales have lost their appeal

Ten years ago, it was not uncommon to take a day off to visit stores on the first day of sales and find the best deals! However, at the beginning of this new decade, there has been significant footfall decline with fewer shoppers on the High Street. While many Brits now buy online, especially via their mobile phone, seasonal sales have also become less attractive. Discounts are now being offered throughout the year and consumers are used to finding good deals and bargains at all times.

Boxing Day sales are no longer a major event

 

Boxing Day sales used to be a big event. But in recent years, sales have been declining. 2019 Boxing Day sales decreased nearly 10% compared to 2018. This drop was the biggest since 2010 when the UK economy was practically at a standstill. Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard told The Guardian: “The drop is much bigger than anticipated, it seems like the steam was taken out of Christmas by Black Friday.”

She added: “This result reflects a number of underlying structural changes in terms of how consumers shop, with more going online, the increased spending around Black Friday and the fact that the number of blended families means that many consumers are still celebrating Christmas on Boxing Day with their family. In combination, these changes mean that Boxing Day is indisputably a less important trading day than it once was.”

Price cuts start earlier and last longer

 

More and more brands are now offering promotions ahead of seasonal sales. Richard Hyman, UK retail expert, told the Financial Times: “The economics of retail are changing before our very eyes. Digital sales have added additional capacity but haven’t added demand. Most of the sales we’re seeing aren’t planned and aren’t strategic — they are tactical responses to competition that only the really strong players with strong brands and price relationships with their customers can avoid.”

Christmas discounts and sales start as early as October. The peak is of course Black Friday, which has become a big thing. 2019 Black Friday sales were outstanding: sales increased 16.5% compared to 2018. As such, Black Friday overtook Christmas as the most important shopping week of the year in the UK.

This positive result may well seal the deal for retailers in terms of their commitment to Black Friday moving forward, as they will have claimed shoppers early on in the Christmas trading period giving them the opportunity to steal a march on their rivals” said Diane Wehrle.

Summer sales have also been hitting the High Street in advance starting as early as June, when they traditionally began early July. Greg Lawless, analyst at Shore Capital, told The Daily Mail in June 2019: “Retailers have gone early and they’re offering pretty chunky discounts”. Several brands offered unprecedented levels of discounting to attract consumers.

Shopmium - soldes - attractivite 2

Consumers now chase bargains all year round

 

Seasonal sales are also less attractive because consumers have become used to finding bargains all year round, using price comparison, cashback and couponing apps such as Groupon and Shopmium.

According to a poll from The Independent, 96% of shoppers look for bargains every day. More than a quarter of those polled felt they have more disposable income now than 10 years ago, with 28% attributing this to there now being more ways to save money.

Behavioural psychologist Emma Kenny explained: “It appears that in modern consumer society, customers are demanding better deals when making the majority of their purchases. The positive emotional connection and reward that customers receive after discovering a discount reinforces subsequent shopping behaviour and is a powerful motivator in returning custom.”

She added: “Undoubtedly, the average consumer no longer feels constrained by the price tags they are presented with and they are happy to spend time online and in the physical world searching for discounts and vouchers meaning their money goes further. The savvy shopper is fast becoming the largest consumer demographic.”

IRI had warned a few years ago: “UK consumers have been inadvertently trained to look for deals in-store and to concentrate their purchasing into promotional periods. This behaviour is having no signs of slowing down. In essence, this means that the impact of promotions is also declining with each new promotion becoming less effective at achieving the desired uplift than the last.”

Some retailers are trying to restore price and value

 

Some retailers have expressed concerns that long-term discounting is distorting price and value.

Reflecting on M&S’s 2019 Christmas performance, Chief Executive Steve Rowe told Drapers: “[Across the market], the levels of discounting were substantially higher, and the amount of product on sale was substantially larger, in both stores and online before Black Friday and it carried on until Christmas. That level of discounting had an impact on the market. We held our nerve and didn’t start our Sale early. The level of stock that went into sale was 12% down on last year, and we came out of the season tidy in terms of stock. I’m a believer of first price, right price. If you have long-term discounting, shoppers don’t trust your value. We can give our shoppers the odd deal, but the wholesale blanket discounting we saw in December across the High Street is not something I want to play into.

Just like M&S, Morrisons’ did not take part in Black Friday. Chief Executive Officer Dave Potts has admitted that not running promotions hit the retailer as it did not benefit from the “halo effect” it brings. He told Retail Week: “We’re seeing people more attracted to discounting in some areas”.

Richard Lim, Chief Executive of Retail Economics, shared with the Financial Times: “Retailers do not want to be discounting in the run-up to Christmas, a time when they should be selling at full price. But the genie is out of the bottle. In electricals, toys and footwear in particular, they need to defend their market share against Amazon.”

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Environmental concerns are growing

 

Sustainability concerns are also leading some consumers to cut back on their purchases. A Barclaycard survey conducted at the end of 2019 reveals that sales spending is increasingly influenced by environmental concerns:

  • Six in ten Brits (62%) said they intended to make fewer purchases in the post-Christmas sales
  • Seven in ten consumers (67%) said they planned to spend less on ‘fast fashion’ because of the potential environmental impact of production.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments said: “Our research shows that shoppers are increasingly thinking about how their purchases impact the environment. Forward-thinking retailers should be making a conscious effort to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, in order to boost their appeal – and their revenue.”

In Sweden, after “flygskam” (the shame of flying), a new phenomenon called “köpskam” (the shame of buying) has emerged. The CEO of the Swedish consultancy HUI Research told the HuffPost he believes it is “probably only a matter of time before köpskam becomes a widespread concept“.

As a conclusion, consumers no longer eagerly await seasonal sales. This is partly due to promotional periods lasting longer with new events such as Black Friday overtaking traditional sales. In addition, consumers have become savvy and seek out the best deals throughout the year using mobile apps. Many consumers are also more environmentally conscious, buying less and choosing more sustainable options.

Shopmium - comportement des consommateurs -

2010 - 2019: five major changes in consumer behaviour

How is the consumer of 2020 different from the consumer of 2010? That’s the question we asked ourselves at Shopmium at the start of this new decade. In this article, we shed some light on how consumer behaviour has changed over the last 10 years and the impact for FMCG brands. Focus on five major evolutions.

Consumers have become more responsible and more selective

 

One of the most significant developments of the last decade is the rise of the conscious consumer. Environmental and social issues have gradually gained ground, encouraging British shoppers to consume differently.

Many shoppers are embracing a “buy less, buy better” philosophy. As a consequence, sales of FMCG products are declining. According to Kantar, 18 of the top 20 grocery brands are in decline. When considering the top 50 brands, only 18 are in growth.

The latest Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Report shows that consumers are no longer making decisions based solely on product selection or price: they’re assessing what a brand says, what it does and what it stands for.

UK consumers are investing their time, money and attention in brands that have a genuine commitment to important principles that they care about – such as health and wellbeing, natural ingredients, environmental sustainability and family connections” says Rachel Barton, Accenture Strategy Managing Director.

Local products are on the rise. More than half of UK consumers (55%) say they prefer to buy local brands to help support local and small producers according to IRI’s latest European Shopper Insights Survey.

Packaging has also become a hot topic. Olly Abotorabi, Senior Regional Insights Manager at IRI, comments: “There is increasing awareness of the impact that use of plastic in grocery retail is having on the planet, with heart-rending images of whales tied up in discarded fishing nets and floating plastic islands in the ocean circulating regularly in the media. As a result, shoppers are more aware than ever of the environmental impact their purchases can have and are making the connection every time they pick up brands in store.” 73% of UK consumers say they prefer to buy products with environmentally friendly packaging.

Organic has gone mainstream

 

Just a few years ago, only a minority of consumers bought organic products. Clare McDermott, Business Development Director for the Soil Association’s certification arm, shared with the Financial Times: “In the UK, particularly [after the recession], organic was perceived as something that was niche and nice to have. A food for affluent people, rather than [being] something about best agricultural practice and improving the food we eat.

However, in recent years, organic has been building momentum and experiencing steady growth. Paul Moore, Organic Trade Board Chief Executive told The Telegraph: “Shoppers perceive organic to be healthy, tasty and are deciding that it is worth the money. The organic message is becoming better understood, and all the evidence we see is it is increasing partly because of the young audience coming into the market.”

The UK is now the seventh market in the world for organic sales. The market is expected to be worth £2.5 billion in 2020. According to research from Kantar commissioned by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), organic shoppers are willing to pay a premium price up to 30%, but will pay more if they have to.

Beyond organic, there is strong demand for natural and clean label products in both the food and personal care space.

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Free from products have invaded supermarket shelves

 

Free from products have also soared in recent years. They appeal to different groups of shoppers, with many choosing them as part of lifestyle decisions and others for medical reasons.

According to research from Mintel, almost half of UK adults are choosing to avoid certain foods or ingredients and 39% say they regularly buy free from foods or drinks. Meat alternatives, dairy alternatives and gluten and wheat-free products are the largest categories.

Meat alternatives in particular have experienced spectacular growth. According to a Deloitte report, the UK is the largest market in Europe for consumption of plant-based alternatives, accounting for around 40% of the European meat substitutes market.

Lucia Juliano, Head of CPG and Retail Research at Harris Interactive, told The Grocer: “As more free from products are introduced to the market, taste and quality are now comparable with regular products. This means consumers are more inclined to try free from products.”

Alistair Vince, CEO and founder of Watch Me Think, believes that “by 2030, free from will become the norm and everyone will have something free from in their diet – free from sugar, salt, gluten and so forth.” He shared with Bakery and Snacks: “Hopefully there will be a free from product alternative to every product we already have.”

Mobile use has redefined grocery shopping

 

A decade ago, only 17% of the British population owned a smartphone. In recent years, smartphones have become widely available and 85% of the population now owns a smartphone. 95% of smartphones are used every day, impacting many activities such as grocery shopping.

According to Deloitte, every month, 1 in 5 people buy groceries using their smartphone. In 2018, sales of online groceries in the UK hit £12.3 billion, up 9% from 2017. Mintel forecasts that sales will grow by 60% in the next few years to reach £19.8 billion in 2023, with online grocery accounting for 10% of all grocery shopping.

Online grocery shopping especially appeals to younger Brits. 61% of shoppers aged 25-34 say they do some online grocery shopping and over a quarter (27%) say they do all or most of their grocery shopping online.

But shoppers who do not buy groceries online also rely on their mobile phones, in particular before grocery shopping and in-store. Research from InMobi and Decision Fuel shows that 2 out 3 modern grocery buyers use their mobile for cost savings and smart grocery shopping (modern grocery buyers are defined as mobile users who intend to purchase groceries within the next 90 days). Grocery buyers use their mobile to research prices (for 46%), promotions and discounts (for 35%), store locations (for 28%), product info or availability (for 17%) and loyalty programs (for 14%).

70% of modern grocery buyers also use their mobile while they are shopping. A large number use mobile apps, including grocery store apps and couponing apps such as Shopmium. Mobile payment is also on the rise, with some retailers such as Sainsbury’s now offering till-free shopping with in-app payment.

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Shoppers have come to value discounters

 

Over the past decade, discounters have reinvented themselves to attract new customers. Nielsen explains: “Discounters have evolved a great deal from their initial simple model of offering just low price and private label products. In the past 10 years, hard discounters have become more much experimental retailers, trialing new growth tactics and appealing to a broader shopper base.”

Nearly two-thirds of British households now visit an Aldi or Lidl branch at least once every 12 weeks according to research from Kantar Worldpanel. Its most recent grocery market share data shows that Aldi held a 7.8% market share at end of 2019 while Lidl had a 5.9% market share. Their combined market share is expected to exceed 15% in 2020.

The rise of discounters is a significant challenge for the Big Four supermarkets. Their sales have been declining and they are losing market share. In March 2019, The Guardian published an investigative piece titled: “The Aldi effect: how one discount supermarket transformed the way Britain shops”. In the article, UK retail expert Richard Hyman explains: “Aldi’s customer profile is now classless. The supermarket is as strong with affluent people as it is with people on low incomes.”

Both Aldi and Lidl have announced ambitious expansion plans, with a large number of new store openings planned in the coming years. As such, discounters should continue to drive growth in the UK food and grocery market.

In 10 years, a new consumer has emerged. The consumer of 2020 is more responsible buying less but buying better. He wants more organic, natural and clean label products and expects sustainable packaging. The 2020 shopper is also digital, using his mobile phone to buy groceries online and find the best deals in-store. He is likely to visit discounters regularly following their successful rebranding. In order to continue to attract consumers, FMCG brands need to take into account these evolutions.

Campagnes du mois - Shopmium - décembre 2020

OUR FAVOURITE CAMPAIGNS FROM DECEMBER 2019

A selection of our favourite campaigns from December 2019

 

DR.OETKER

Dr.Oetker chose Shopmium as part of the launch plan for their Momenti Pizza range: pizzas that are just the right size, full of flavour and all up to 450 calories and existing in 3 flavours.

The brand’s purpose was to drive awareness of its NPD and generate trial among our Shopmium users.

Dr Oetker - UK - Shopmium


Coca Cola Signature - Shopmium

COCA-COLA

Coca-Cola recently launched  Coca-Cola Signature Mixers, a new range specially designed to pair perfectly with premium dark spirits, from brandy to aged tequila.

Coca-Cola featured the whole range in Shopmium’s app, in order to create awareness of its NPD and encourage people to try the product around the festive Christmas period.


COCA-COLA 

While promoting its Coca-Cola Signature Mixers NPD, Coca-Cola chose Shopmium again to support Schweppes’ Signature Collection as well as their classic range of tonics.

The purpose of this campaign was to drive sales during the festive period and create a reason for consumers to buy multiple units in the run up to Christmas.

Running campaigns at the same time for Schweppes and Coca-Cola Signature Mixers was a great way for Coca-Cola to recruit buyers across their brands at a key time of year.

Schweppes - UK - Shopmium


Ember - Shopmium

EMBER SNACKS

Ember Snack used Shopmium to promote its range of Biltong made from ethically sourced British and Irish beef.

The brand has secured additional shelf space in-store and needed to drive awareness of where to find their products in store. They used a message as part of their branded media as well as a pop up note to users in the drive to store page to show shoppers where to find the product.