THE fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry needs to consider how the pandemic has transformed shopping habits, according to data and consulting firm Kantar.

Kantar Philippines Worldpanel Expert Solutions Director Ledz Lim said in a virtual briefing on Thursday that FMCG companies need to adapt to the new consumer emphasis on value for money, e-commerce and sustainability. Return to school goods are also a focus area because of the lifting of restrictions on face-to-faces classes, while the industry must also adapt their channel strategy to the way mobility restrictions trained consumers for two years to patronize sellers within their immediate vicinity.

“With the return to neighborhood stalls (sari-sari stores), brands that can get themselves into the limited shelf space will be the ones who stand to gain the most,” Kantar Shopper and Consumer Insight Director Laurice Padlan-Obana said.

Kantar also noted that e-commerce will continue to grow, particularly as an avenue for selling personal care products.

“With only 8% of Filipino homes shopping online, there is a huge opportunity for brands to leverage this platform. However, the e-Commerce category will truly take off when shoppers turn to online channels to purchase their food and beverage needs,” Ms. Obana said.

According to Kantar, consumers will continue to switch to brands that offer greater value.

“With more than half of the 156 categories monitored by Kantar raising their prices by more than 5% in the last two years, shoppers will continue to switch to brands that offer them greater value. This search for such products that offer their money’s worth, especially among the lower socioeconomic classes, will continue and brands that are able to address this need can join the ranks of other growing and fast rising value brands,” Kantar said.

Kantar said the return to face-to-face classes will also boost FMCG categories that saw little action during the virtual classes era.

“This (categories) include those that will keep children safe and fresh (sanitizers, baby powder and colognes), while also ensuring that they have nutritious lunchboxes and are properly hydrated while in school. Moreover, households may see an increase in demand for laundry detergents with more instances of children changing outfits,” Kantar said.

“82% of shoppers said they are personally affected by environmental problems, while 68% admitted to not buying certain products which they feel greatly impact the environment and society. Moreover, Filipino shoppers believe that various stakeholders, including FMCG companies, (should play a) bigger role in taking action and pursuing a more sustainable path,” Ms. Lim said.  

Lourdes Deocareza-Lozano, Kantar Philippines Worldpanel Division new business director, said  shopping frequency is expected to rise in the coming months following the easing of mobility restrictions.

According to Ms. Deocareza-Lozano, overall FMCG spending during the last two years dropped 11%. The D income class posted the sharpest decline in spending of 12%, followed by the E category with 11%, C2 9%, and ABC1 2%. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave