The Top 3 Shifts in Consumer Demand in 2018

Published February 20, 2019

Now that 2019 has begun, we’re taking the time to look back at 2018. It was a big year for many; including ourselves. At INSITE, we took last year to introduce our brand to our customers and supporters. We added a new logo to our brand lineup and attended 2018 PACK EXPO in Chicago as an exhibitor for the first time. We proudly showcased the hard work we’ve done behind the scenes to create the next great line of innovative case erectors and case sealers.

We aren’t the only ones who had a good year. Across the greater consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, many businesses (large and small) saw positive growth and change during the 2018 fiscal year.

The general consumer base also went through a few changes in 2018. Corporations rose and fell by the demands of consumers in 2018, and others were forced to completely overhaul internal systems. Today we’re diving into some of the top shifts in consumer demand from 2018.

2018 by the Numbers

While we’re still waiting for the final numbers to come in, data from 2018 Quarters 1 and 2, partnered with real-time statistics, provides us with a good look at the 2018 market. Fast-moving consumer goods, or consumer packaged goods, were the big winners in 2018. Many markets across the globe saw notable increases in GDP growth; particularly those in manufacturing and retail. However, global uncertainty brought on by current events and world politics made some consumers feel uneasy, prompting some portions of the market to suffer as consumers began shopping more discriminately or less frequently – opting to save their money in case of future strife.

Within the CPG realm, center-of-store edibles and fresh perishables were the big winners. According to a Nielsen report, non-edibles in brick and mortar stores saw little to no growth, with a -$0.6B change in June. By the end of Quarter 2, brick and mortar sales had increased by 0.7% which factors out to around 5 billion. When comparing numbers, the percentage delta is misleading: center-of-store edibles saw the largest top line growth of the measured categories. But, when factoring the same department sizing toward profits earned, fresh perishables actually emerged the victor within the CPG realm in 2018.

The non-edibles sector had a good year despite some setbacks in June. The personal care and home goods segments saw steady growth. When it comes to the personal care sector, the industry saw a major boost as younger demographics, particularly Millennials, opted to spend their earnings on at-home personal care products as opposed to more costly salon or beauty services.

Within the non-edibles sector, home care and health were the winners in 2018. As of now, small manufacturers have reached a 6.2% growth rate since 2009 while private-label products have experienced a 2.8% growth rate. Large manufacturers with a value that exceeds $3 billion saw a 1.6% growth rate while medium manufactures saw a -3.7% decline over the same time period.

The Trends that Shaped 2018

The trends of 2018 revealed a unique pattern that has many excited. Most of the biggest trends revolved around conscious consumerism and online retail. While we’ve made our predictions for the trends that will shape 2019, let’s look back at the movements that shaped the 2018 fiscal year.

Online Ordering

Back in 2013, online sales were attributed with making up as little as 1% of total web sales revenue for CPG products. Experts predict this percentage will increase to as high as 20% by 2025. Consumers are opting to spend less time in stores and more time doing the things they love, making the convenience of online ordering and delivery attractive to a digital-first generation.

Green Alternatives

As mentioned above, conscious consumerism was a big trend in 2018. Thanks to the wide availability of knowledge due to social media and online news sources, the average consumer is more informed than ever before.

Consumers are taking an active role in deciding which products and brands they want to give their money to. In a recent Nielsen report, it was found that consumers are willing to pay extra for both sustainable products and firm moral beliefs. In the same report, 73% of Millennials said that they were willing and actively tried to purchase sustainable goods. This has prompted many brands to reinvest in their own eco-friendly plans and initiatives.

Social Good

There are hundreds of thousands of brands in the market. Between private label and name brand products, recent data shows that it’s not always the price of the product that will win, it’s the integrity of the company behind it.

In 2015 P&G, through their Always brand, released their #LikeAGirl campaign. The messaging revolved around empowering young girls and spreading the word that the phrase “like a girl” doesn’t need to have a negative connotation or imply weakness. In just three months, the positive sentiment associated with the campaign reached a nearly unheard of 96%. The headlining video for the campaign became the number two viral video globally with over 90 million views. Subsequently, purchase intent grew more than 50% among their target demographic.

This trend of consumers lining up behind brands they connect with on social or environmental issues is one that greatly influenced 2018. The brands that saw the biggest growth were ones that took the time to connect with their customers.

2019 Opportunities with INSITE

2018 has come and gone, but 2019 presents limitless opportunities for growth and expansion. INSITE will continue to grow our brand and connect with our customers and supporters. With case erectors and sealers for any size outfit, we’re prepared to help businesses reach their goals in 2019 and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about how an automated secondary packaging system can help your brand succeed, give us a call today.

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