How Consumers Are Handling the Pandemic Surge

How Consumers Are Handling the Pandemic Surge
After a 21% increase in CPG sales in March, demand has been up around 10%, the new report found.

Most U.S. consumers seem to be playing it cool when it comes to stocking up for the surging pandemic, but more than a third of them are loading up on essential products, according to new Consumer Brands Association IPSOS survey data.

While the majority (65%) of Americans are not stocking up for fear of a shortage, the survey data found, the 34% who reported stocking up on items reported the following to be their most in-demand: toilet paper (24%); cleaning and disinfecting products (21%); hand sanitizer and soap (19%); paper towels (18%); shelf-stable foods (18%). 

The Consumer Brands/Ipsos poll was conducted from Nov. 11 to 13, and was released among other growing evidence of the pandemic is changing consumer behavior. Amazon is stepping up its battle against pandemic price gouging, for instance, while Walmart CEO Doug McMillon — who recently said that pandemic pantry loading is back — has now said that pandemic shopping habits are here to stay.

As for the Consumer Brands Association IPSOS report, other findings include:

  • After a 21% increase in CPG sales in March, demand has been up around 10%, with the potential for even greater demand with the upcoming holiday season, when demand could increase more than 11%.
  • As it relates to increased demand, the industry expected this during the fall/winter. A more informed manufacturer (we’ve been operating at peak season for 8+ months) combined with a more informed consumer (who isn’t as panic-ridden as they were earlier in the year), means we likely won’t see the severity of shortages seen earlier in the year.
  • Manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep products on the shelves — from 24-hour shifts and narrowing product offerings to ensure maximum production, to direct shipments to cut down on time to stores.
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