The pandemic has rocked the consumer goods sector and has been a wake-up call on agility and staying relevant to customers. Consumer behaviours are changing (potentially forever), channels of consumption are shifting, and the importance of a flexible supply chain has never been more evident. But what industries are thriving in the midst of the chaos?
As the consumer goods specialist at Vertical Advantage I have been speaking with Supply Chain professionals across the sector to understand not only the impact of COVID-19, but also what trends they are seeing coming out of it.
Beauty & Cosmetics
Beauty is one of the sectors in the UK that has really felt the impact of lockdown. With the vast majority of retail stores closed nationwide, many of our clients saw an alarming drop in sales as shoppers were stuck at home and being more conscious of their spending. The luxury goods category has been impacted considerably as a result.
On the upside, there’s been an interesting positive trend in the day-to-day beauty categories including skincare products, cosmetics and nail polish. Is it because we’ve had more time on our hands (no pun intended)? Boredom? Or have we felt the urge to treat ourselves because of the money we’ve saved on commuting and crazily overpriced lunches?
Let’s be honest, we’re all hand sanitiser crazy at the moment and armed to the teeth with hygiene and cleaning products at home. The demand for this sector has gone through the roof as hand soap, sanitiser, anti-bac wipes and sprays have become staples for many households.
The increased demand for hygiene products coupled with the fact that consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment, sustainability, ethical sourcing and chemical-free products, will inevitably shake up the industry and open up the door for some exciting brands.
Health & Fitness
I think we all played with the thought of using lockdown to “get in shape” or try new fitness regimes to keep active. The result of this shift in mindset has seen a positive impact on health and fitness products, with items like golf gear, footballs and nets, dumbbells and weights, and even protein bars sold out. Although most fitness items are unlikely to be repeat purchases, the overall interest in home exercising most definitely had an impact on sales.
It seems that in the absence of being able to physically see friends and family, consumers turned to online gift brands to send their love from afar. Flowers, birthday presents and care packages have all seen an increase in demand compared to the same period last year.
Home & Garden
As we have spent the majority of our time at home, our homes and garden frequently come up in conversation. This in turn has led to more product recommendations, as people buy plants, baking equipment, and other products to liven up quarantine. If you say you didn’t bake banana bread during lockdown, you’re a liar…
“If you say you didn’t bake banana bread during lockdown, you’re a liar…”
What’s the one thing we can take away from all this?
Overall, the current climate has made one thing clear; eCommerce and digital presence is essential. Businesses that have invested in a strong eCommerce platform and presence across multiple consumption channels have been able to ensure some stability and maximise their revenue in these challenging times.
One thing I’m curious to see is how consumer goods brands will adapt their supply chains to ensure quality (and price) is maintained whilst they explore risk mitigation strategies to future-proof their success. To be continued.
Sagar is a Manager on our Supply Chain & Procurement team, specialising in the consumer goods sector. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to gain more insights on the current market, or to discuss your next career move.
Related article: The Covid-19 aftermath in the drinks industry