IRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. This edition of Times & Trends underscores the importance of micro-targeting to effectively serve target consumer groups, leveraging the massive Baby Boomer generation as a case study. A free summary is also accessible via the GMA website at www.gmaonline.org.


The year 2008 may be gone, but it is definitely not forgotten. It will go down in history as the year the United States entered the most significant economic recession since World War II. This recession will last well into 2009, and possibly beyond.

Every American has felt the impact of the country’s economic battle. Across age, income, and ethnicity breaks, consumers have been forced to make substantial changes to their everyday lives- and shopping habits- to stay afloat in a recessionary economy. Changes have been broad and deep…and rapid.

The CPG industry must stay on their collective toes and respond to continually changing rituals with a new level of deftness, for difficult times will enable relationships that will outlast the recessionary environment.

Frequent and thorough monitoring of changing consumer attitudes and behaviors is more necessary now than ever before. And the ability to anticipate change before it happens will define the big winners in the long term.

This 2008 Year-in-Review report explores industry performance over the past year, and provides insights on what to expect as 2009 unfolds.



CPG unit sales fell 2.1% in 2008; illustrative of the struggles consumers are facing in a recessionary economy, price increases fed a 3.0% increase in CPG dollar sales despite the unit sales decline.
46 of the top 100 CPG categories experienced above-average price increases in 2008; particularly for goods which undergo processing, and for beef, pork and poultry, prices are expected to remain high well into 2009.

Supercenters’ everyday low price reputation has been well-received by budget-strapped consumers, and channel share of CPG dollar sales climbed 0.6 points in 2008; drug channel retailers, as a destination location for healthcare products, are also well-positioned to compete in a recessionary economy.

A back-to-basics mantra drove CPG purchase activity in 2008, demonstrated by strong performance of key self-care health and beauty products and meal ingredient/component categories.

Private label has been a front-burner issue for retailers over the past several years, resulting in high levels of innovation and stepped-up marketing efforts; in a recessionary economy, retailers’ private label offerings are answering the call for value, resulting in increased trial and adoption that will likely transcend recessionary economy.




  Back to Top


Source: IRI's Times & Trends Reports
Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) is the world’s leading provider of enterprise market information solutions and services to the consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail, and healthcare industries.