What to expect from the CPG industry in 2019

Forced price hikes and focus on omnichannel experience are among forecasted trends from Acosta

Zehr's frozen section

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is rapidly evolving, and a new year will usher in even more changes. Acosta, a sales and marketing agency in the CPG industry, compiled its top predictions for 2019, including what’s next for e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores, popular products and categories, and modifications in how consumers approach shopping trips.

“We expect to see the continuation of some trends that emerged in 2018, as well as several key new developments,” said Colin Stewart, senior vice-president at Acosta. “In 2019, the topic of price will be on the agenda for both manufacturers and retailers. With increasing transportation and commodity costs, manufacturers will be forced to increase prices, and retailers will be aggressively scrutinizing price inflation to stay competitive in a fragmenting retail environment.”

Acosta’s top 10 CPG predictions for 2019 are:

1. Resurgence of frozen

After several years of decline, manufacturers have finally cracked the code on getting shoppers back into the frozen food aisle with cleaner labels and higher-quality products that appeal to shoppers. Shoppers are coming to the realization that frozen is healthy and convenient, with dramatic improvements in quality and variety of prepared foods.

2. More e-commerce changes

Online retailers, such as meal-kit services, will continue to move into bricks-and-mortar spaces or partner with established retailers to grow brand reach. Bricks-and-mortar operators will continue to catch up to e-commerce competitors. Click-and-collect will continue to emerge as retailers refine implementation.

3. Continued renaissance of the in-store shopping experience

Convenience, immediacy and the ability to browse and sample will continue to be key draws. Additional in-store shopping changes could include:
Prepared foods and eating spaces. Individualization of experience. Sampling, education and entertainment. Integration with smartphones, such as deals, navigation, checkout and personalized offers. Possible advances in mobile pay.

4. Smaller store footprints

Due to the slow death of the mall, anchor spaces will continue to be repurposed to entertainment and lifestyle destinations such as cinemas, arcades and even grocery stores, to drive traffic. Expect to see pop-up stores fill empty retail storefronts for seasonal or promotional “limited-time only” periods.

To read Acosta’s entire list, click here.

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