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Nielsen: Understanding Consumer Sentiment Can Help Companies Adjust as the U.S. Begins to Reopen 

Even though the year is almost half over, it’s just now starting to feel like a new year in parts of the U.S., as many states have allowed certain non-essential businesses like restaurants, movie theaters and retail stores to re-open in at least some capacity. We know, however, that many Americans plan to play it safe as businesses come back online rather than immediately jumping back into pre-lockdown behaviors. That’s why companies need to understand evolving consumer sentiment before assuming that open-for-business means business as usual.

The rise in CPG purchases (both on and offline) has been well documented throughout the lockdown period, but we have yet to see how consumers approach visiting non-essential businesses once they’re open again...

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Jun 3 8:09 AM, General News



Consumer Confidence Index Stabilizes in May

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index held steady in May, following a sharp decline in April. The Index now stands at 86.6 (1985=100), up from 85.7 in April. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – declined from 73.0 to 71.1. However, the Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – improved from 94.3 in April to 96.9 this month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was...

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May 27 8:15 AM, General News


Still Concerned About COVID-19, U.S. Consumers Will Want More from Convenience Stores

Across the U.S. retail landscape, the convenience channel has been the offline channel to watch over the past year. With the country in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, the convenience channel is poised to be even more dominant as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

Last November, Nielsen forecasted that the U.S. convenience channel would grow faster than all other offline channels over the next five years. When we look at the importance of proximity to our homes and the desire among many to avoid large crowds, convenience stores have the ability to write their own future. To do so, they need to embrace the opportunity to expand beyond categories traditionally expected from the channel. Baking staples, for example, aren’t common on the shelves at most C-stores, but...

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May 19 8:08 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Weakened Significantly in April

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index deteriorated further in April, following a sharp decline in March. The Index now stands at 86.9 (1985=100), down from 118.8 in March. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – also declined considerably, from 166.7 to 76.4. However, the Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – improved from 86.8 in March to 93.8 this month.

“Consumer confidence weakened significantly in April, driven by a severe deterioration in current conditions,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The 90-point drop in the Present Situation Index, the largest on record, reflects the sharp contraction in...

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Apr 29 8:19 AM, General News


Pantries Padded with Produce as North Americans Prepare for the COVID-19 Long Haul

Much like the sentiment felt among European consumers, many North Americans expect the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to last for quite some time. That means the inordinate rise of in-home food and beverage consumption we’ve seen this year will likely continue for the foreseeable future. While the health and immune-boosting properties of fresh produce have brought growth to the category, many consumers have sought frozen and pantry-friendly fruits and vegetables much more than they did before the outbreak.

But many pre-outbreak behaviors and tendencies will likely stay in the rearview mirror as communities hunker down at home in efforts to mitigate further spread of COVID-19. Overall, it’s left many consumers fearful that the worst has yet to come in terms of...

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Apr 21 8:16 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Declined Sharply in March

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined sharply in March, following an increase in February. The Index now stands at 120.0 (1985=100), down from 132.6 in February. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 169.3 to 167.7. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 108.1 last month to 88.2 this month.

“Consumer confidence declined sharply in March due to a deterioration in the short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index remained relatively strong, reflective of an economy that was on solid footing, and prior to the recent surge in unemployment claims. However...

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Apr 1 8:17 AM, General News


Asian Consumers Are Rethinking How They Eat Past COVID-19 

Consumers across Asia have signaled their eating habits may change permanently once the world moves beyond the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In an exclusive Nielsen study of 11 Asian markets, only Japanese consumers say they are less likely to change their eating habits as a result of the global pandemic.

The study, the first in a wave of Nielsen explorations underway across 74 markets, indicates that consumers in Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam will rethink and re-prioritize the place eating at home has in their lives. In Chinese mainland, 86% said they would eat at home more often than before the outbreak. In other markets, a similar trend was observed with 77% of consumers in Hong Kong planning to eat at home more often than...

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Mar 31 8:17 AM, General News


Emerging Consumer Demands Lead to Increasing Role of In-Store Technology 

According to Nielsen, brick and mortar retail may be preparing for a resurgence. Consumer demands are pointing to an increasing role of technology in stores. Investments in in-store technology spiked nearly 60% to $3.7 billion in 2019. Research also forecasts that digital natives will open another 850 physical stores by 2023.

Trends for fast-moving consumer goods may follow, as consumers have never been more receptive to technology than they are currently. Approximately 64% of consumers claim their lives are getting busier, providing...

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Mar 19 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


Nielsen: Opportunity Looms to Chinese Retailers Despite Epidemic Outbreak

Nielsen closely tracked the latest developments in the retail industry and released the report titled "COVID-19 is a Challenge, but also an Opportunity, for China's Retail Industry."

The research involves key retail companies and over 10,000 traditional grocery stores, and offers in-depth analysis of the retailers' challenges and responses to the outbreak, as well as the changes and opportunities the sector will face once the epidemic is over.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic at the beginning of 2020 has adversely influenced China's retail industry, especially the brick-and-mortar retailers. But some retailers, who got well prepared and...

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Mar 9 9:55 AM, General News


Nielsen: "Pandemic Pantries" Pressure Supply Chain Amid Coronavirus Fears

Consumers around the world are actively stockpiling emergency supplies as concerns grow that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) could become a worldwide pandemic. They’re also starting to think beyond emergency items, such as basic foodstuffs, including canned goods, flour, sugar and bottled water. Concerns are having a ripple effect into non-food essentials as well. In the U.S., sales of supplements, fruit snacks and first aid kits, for example, are all on the rise.

Nielsen’s initial investigation across major countries around the world has found significant spikes in the hoarding of emergency supplies is occurring in China, the U.S. and Italy, where consumers are rushing to...

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Mar 5 8:21 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Increased Slightly in February

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved slightly in February, following an increase in January. The Index now stands at 130.7 (1985=100), up from 130.4 in January. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 173.9 to 165.1. However, the Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 101.4 last month to 107.8 this month.

“Consumer confidence improved slightly in February, following an increase in January,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators. “Despite the decline in the Present Situation Index, consumers continue to view current conditions quite favorably. Consumers’ short-term expectations improved, and when coupled with solid employment growth, should be...

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Feb 26 8:23 AM, General News


Nielsen: It's Time to Think Omnichannel Shopper, Not Just Omnichannel 

There’s no shortage of omnichannel chatter across the retail landscape, and that chatter has been building for quite some time. But now that 44% of American households are actively buying food both on- and offline, the industry needs to focus more on the consumer and less on the physical channel.

As online capabilities have grown, the industry has largely concentrated on developing capabilities to facilitate shopping from all angles. The companies that now have those infrastructures in place are well-poised for success. That’s because at the end of 2019, more than 54 million U.S. households had transitioned to true omnichannel shoppers. That’s up 14% from just two years earlier, and it means that it’s time to put the consumer—not the channel—at the center of the equation.

It’s possible that some market observers might have—not too long ago—believed that shopping would largely migrate online. Today, that mindset would most certainly be...

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Feb 25 9:58 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Increased in January

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in January, following a moderate increase in December. The Index now stands at 131.6 (1985=100), up from 128.2 (an upward revision) in December. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 170.5 to 175.3. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 100.0 last month to 102.5 this month.

“Consumer confidence increased in January, following a moderate advance in December, driven primarily by a more positive assessment of the current job market and...

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Jan 29 8:23 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Dipped in December

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased marginally in December, following a slight increase in November. The Index now stands at 126.5 (1985=100), down from 126.8 (an upward revision) in November. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 166.6 to 170.0. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – decreased from 100.3 last month to 97.4 this month.

“Consumer confidence declined marginally in December, following a slight improvement in November,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “While consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, their expectations declined, driven primarily by...

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Jan 2 8:24 AM, General News


Nielsen: Top 5 Factors that Impacted Online Grocery Businesses in 2019 

As we close the book on 2019, brick-and-mortar drove the vast majority of grocery sales—particularly for fresh food—yet e-commerce maintained its meteoric rise.

This push-and-pull between the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry’s brick-and-mortar foundation and e-commerce growth engine didn’t lure shoppers completely out of stores but encouraged them to dabble. Considering three-fourths of American adults buy both online and offline, grocers can better activate the levers to meet consumers where they are and encourage grocery shopping on their e-commerce platforms.

Understanding the factors that drove shoppers online purchase decisions in 2019 will help...

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Dec 24 8:13 AM, General News


Nielsen: Bridging the Gap to Better Eating in America 

Americans want to eat healthfully. And it’s this intention to eat better that should serve as a guide for food and beverage companies into 2020 and beyond.

We’re all human, and that means we don’t always do as we say. But there are reasons for that. Some are logical, others are emotional…but the gap is real. And the smartest companies are dialed into the nature of human behavior. They’re evolving and maneuvering to bridge the gap between what people want and what stands in the way of following through on those wants. If consumers have an intent to change, even at a subconscious or subliminal level, marketers need to do everything they can to...

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Dec 16 9:40 AM, General News


Nielsen Releases Report on American Consumers' Eating Habits 

There’s room to grow for companies trying to win with healthy foods in America. The billions in sales growth from fresh foods (+$4.6 billion), organics (+$925 million) and foods that support plant-based diets (+982 million) can often be mistaken as signs of health-food saturation. But the reality is, consumers aren’t eating as well as they’d like to. And that’s an opportunity for growth in consumer packaged goods (CPG).

The gap between intention to eat better and action isn’t from lack of trying. Nearly all (99% of) Americans have purchased a low-fat food or beverage item this year, but households only do so about twice a month. Similarly, U.S. homes are only buying...

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Dec 12 8:17 AM, General News


Nielsen Identifies Unique Sustainability Opportunities to Foster Trust with Consumers

More and more, consumers are factoring a product’s sustainability attributes into their purchasing behavior—and are even redefining what constitutes healthy to include the health of the world at large. As we’ve noted earlier, 73% of global consumers say they’re willing to change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact. This increasingly vocal majority could translate to big opportunities for brands that manage to effectively communicate the sustainability of their products.

In our April 2019 Omnibus study of more than 21,000 U.S. households, we analyzed consumers’ attitudes toward a cohort of sustainable attributes across 13 product categories. We found that across the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, consumers prioritize “environmentally friendly” and “recycled packaging” as...

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Nov 27 9:33 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Declined Slightly in November

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in November, following a slight decline in October. The Index now stands at 125.5 (1985=100), down from 126.1 in October. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 173.5 to 166.9. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 94.5 last month to 97.9 this month.

“Consumer confidence declined for a fourth consecutive month, driven by a softening in consumers’ assessment of current business and employment conditions,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline in the Present Situation Index suggests that economic growth in the final quarter of 2019 will remain weak. However...

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Nov 27 8:21 AM, General News


Nielsen: New Shoppers and Nuanced Category Sales will Drive Holiday Shopping 

This holiday season is one of extremes—featuring both amplified challenges and opportunities for every retailer and brand. The challenges are plain to see: A later-than-usual Thanksgiving means fewer post-feast shopper moments, and a heightened omnichannel chess match around an array of expedited, reduced-cost and free delivery models raises the stakes across the board.

But the omnichannel landscape is far from settled, no matter which lens you view it through. With consumers demonstrating disloyalty at historic levels, and with still significant untapped growth in the online space, retailers and manufacturers across the consumer packaged goods (CPG) landscape have...

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Nov 26 8:18 AM, General News


Nielsen: 7 Important Factors that will Shape the Future of Convenience Retail 

Across the U.S. retail landscape, we believe convenience stores will grow faster than all other offline channels over the next five years, reflecting the hyper focus consumers are putting on expediency. Convenience stores, however, are no longer just competing against other convenience store players. Channels are blurring and C-stores now compete with an array of players that include: quick serve restaurants, smaller formats of grocery and mass and drugstores that are increasingly focusing efforts on fresh and fresh prepared/grab-and-go offerings. Additionally, digital transformation and the consumer’s growing desire for frictionless retail has raised the bar for convenience retailers and their approach to technology adoption.

As a new decade of convenience retail unfolds, these are seven important factors that will shape the future of the convenience industry as we know it...

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Nov 22 8:27 AM, General News


Nielsen Releases Retail Trends for 2020 and Beyond

When considering consumers' demands and combining them with advances in technology, it comes as no surprise that 2020 will represent an inflection point for trust and transparency, causing successful manufacturers and retailers to leverage tools such as artificial intelligence to put consumer concerns first. Nielsen has peered into the future for U.S. manufacturers and retailers, claiming that the next retail revolution is on the horizon, forever shifting how consumers will search for and purchase items.

According to Nielsen, consumers will place increased pressure on manufacturers to produce locally, import fewer goods, and keep costs down. The report states that 48% of consumers feel that local ingredients, manufacturing, or...

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Nov 1 12:17 PM, Urner Barry


The Consumer Confidence Index Edged Down in October

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased marginally in October, following a decline in September. The Index now stands at 125.9 (1985=100), down from 126.3 in September. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 170.6 to 172.3. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 96.8 last month to 94.9 this month.

“Consumer confidence was relatively flat in October, following a decrease in September,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index improved, but Expectations weakened slightly as consumers expressed some concerns about business conditions and...

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Oct 30 8:21 AM, General News


The Consumer Confidence Index Declined in September

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in September, following a slight decline in August. The Index now stands at 125.1 (1985=100), down from 134.2 in August. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 176.0 to 169.0. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 106.4 last month to 95.8 this month.

“Consumer confidence declined in September, following a moderate decrease in August,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers were less positive in their assessment of current conditions and their expectations regarding the short-term outlook also weakened. The escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. However, this pattern of...

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Sep 24 10:08 AM, General News


The Golden Growth Opportunity for U.S. Drugstores 

The self-care movement is playing a key role in reshaping health care in a way that drug store retailers and manufacturers can’t afford to ignore. Recent data from The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, in collaboration with Nielsen, shows that 18% of Americans reported health as a top concern, next only to the economy (22%) and immigration (19%). With the threat of rising health care costs, consumers are prioritizing wellness and taking a more active role in managing their own health.

Today’s health-minded consumers are looking beyond medicine to manage their health—and opting for healthier food is a big part of this mindset. Increasingly for drugstores, the way to consumer wallets is through their diet. However, Nielsen’s 2019 Health Care study showed that only 24% of consumers are satisfied with the health food selection in drugstores, compared with 75% who expressed satisfaction of...

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Sep 19 10:09 AM, General News


How the Coffee Category Became a Hot Bed of Innovation for the U.S. Grocery Market 

Beyond the buzz created around the early release of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, there is something big brewing in the U.S. coffee market. American’s consumption habits are shifting across the beverage industry, and consumers are increasingly seeking their next caffeine fix from chilled, on-the-go coffee options over energy drinks and carbonated soft drinks.

Nielsen data shows that the ready-to-drink coffee category is hot. In fact, dollar sales within the latest 52 weeks (ending July 27, 2019) netted $3 billion, up 16% versus a year ago. And a steady stream of innovation is fueling...

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Sep 5 10:12 AM, General News


The Consumer Confidence Index Declined Marginally in August

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined marginally in August, following July’s rebound. The Index now stands at 135.1 (1985=100), down from 135.8 in July. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 170.9 to 177.2. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 112.4 last month to 107.0 this month.

“Consumer confidence was relatively unchanged in August, following July’s increase,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved further, and the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level in nearly 19 years (Nov. 2000, 179.7). Expectations cooled moderately, but overall remain strong. While other parts of the economy may show some weakening, consumers have remained confident and willing to spend. However, if the recent escalation in trade and tariff tensions persists, it could potentially dampen...

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Aug 29 9:39 AM, General News


Nielsen: Meet the New "Meat" Eater

Meat alternatives have made a big splash in consumer packaged goods (CPG), and sales are on the rise. But are manufacturers and retailers doing enough to educate consumers in this space? Getting consumers to try trendy plant-based foods is one thing, but encouraging long-term adoption and lifestyle change is another.

Today’s shoppers are, in many cases, omnivores, but they’re playing the field when it comes to exploring meat alternatives in their search for dietary protein. In fact, protein-seeking consumers are more likely than ever to consider all the options available to them. Nielsen Homescan consumer purchase metrics indicate that 98% of meat alternative buyers in America also purchase meat products. Conversely, 21% of U.S. meat buyers, also purchase...

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Aug 8 9:26 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Index Rebounded in July

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in July, following a decrease in June. The Index now stands at 135.7 (1985=100), up from 124.3 in June. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 164.3 to 170.9. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 97.6 last month to 112.2 this month.

“After a sharp decline in June, driven by an escalation in trade and tariff tensions, Consumer Confidence rebounded in July to its highest level this year,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers are once again optimistic about current and prospective business and...

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Jul 31 8:16 AM, General News


The New Black Friday? Prime Day's Halo Effect Spans Beyond Gadgets (And Amazon Itself)

Remember when shopping was primarily a chore? If you’re a Millennial, you might never have thought this way, but it really wasn’t that long ago that shopping was more of a task than an experience—let alone something to look forward to.

Historically, Black Friday was the year’s sole shopping experience. Today, however, the abundance of choice, access and creative marketing give brands and retailers all the ammunition they need to inspire consumers to shop at any time they choose...

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Jul 15 12:53 PM, General News


Monetizing the Munchies: How Legal Marijuana Use is Affecting the U.S. Snacking Industry 

In the U.S., interest in cannabis is growing—and laws are shifting to meet consumer demands. Most recently, the Illinois legislature approved recreational marijuana use for adults, with sales of cannabis products containing the psychoactive element, THC, anticipated to start in January 2020. With Illinois soon entering the mix, marijuana will be legal in 11 states and Washington DC, despite still being federally illegal.

The increased legalization of cannabis in the U.S. presents big opportunities for the American food and beverage market—particularly for the snack and confectionery category...

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Jun 18 8:17 AM, General News


Consumer Disloyalty is the New Normal

Assume the people you consider to be the most loyal customers on the planet are, in fact, disloyal. Because 92% of the time, you’ll be right. New Nielsen findings demonstrate that just 8% of consumers consider themselves to be firmly committed loyalists.

Yet the marketing tactics and investments rarely reflect these realities. A whopping 46% of consumers tell us they are more likely to try new brands than they were five years ago; a clear signal to a trend we should expect to intensify. Yet we see few signs that adjustments have been made to marketing initiatives or innovation pipelines to match these numbers.

The implications of not dramatically rethinking campaigns that focus on winning or retaining loyal customers are meaningful. The drag effect of consumer demand for choice and...

 

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Jun 13 11:40 AM, General News




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