Alone Among CPGs, Food Sees Spending Increase

June 3, 2020
Consumer spending has plunged during the coronavirus pandemic – with the notable exception of food.

Consumer spending has plunged during the coronavirus pandemic – with the notable exception of food.

April consumer spending was down 13.6% from March, the largest month-to-month decline since 1954, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Euromonitor predicts that global consumer spending will decline 3.7% in 2020 compared with a rise of 2.4% in 2019.

Sales of food, however, are predicted to rise by more than 2% worldwide, which Euromonitor attributes to lockdowns and stockpiling. Food & beverage is the only major consumer goods category that is expected to increase.

This pattern is being reflected in the latest results of the biggest food processors that specialize in shelf-stable, center-store items. In the 12 weeks ending May 16, McCormick & Co., General Mills, Conagra Brands and Campbell Soup have all seen sales surges of 30% or more compared to last year.

As for the future, the Euromonitor report says, “Brands and businesses successfully emerging out of this pandemic will most likely be those which are prepared for the ‘new normal’ of digital consumer engagement, e-commerce, cashless payment, and at-home consumption.”

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