Industry analysts IRI discuss the trends focusing the minds of manufacturers and retailers.
There is a sense across a number of markets that consumer confidence is improving and the latest data from the just-food international basket, compiled exclusively by IRI, shows the total cost of a shop is, on average, increasing. However, consumers are buying more products on deal and the price gap between brands and own label is shrinking. IRI's Martin Wood crunches the numbers.
There are signs of economic recovery across much of Europe but grocery sales remain under pressure. IRI's Tim Eales analyses why and suggests how retailers and manufacturers can try to drive growth.
Now that the football World Cup has come and gone, Tim Eales, director of strategic insight at IRI, examines whether it provided a much-needed boost to UK retailers and food manufacturers, or if England’s early demise meant they lost out too.
Across Europe, the level of promotions in grocery stores continued to increase in 2013 - but without boosting sales volumes. IRI's Tim Eales says the sector needs to review how they promote in order to drive sales.
In a major consumer recession like the one we've experienced in recent years, one would expect own label to be 30-40% cheaper than brands. But retailers are allowing that price gap to close, writes IRI's Tim Eales.
Across Europe retailers are sitting down with brand captains across numerous food categories to review the products that they will stock over the next year.
European politicians may be proclaiming the end of the consumer recession, but when it comes to food sales, retailers and manufacturers are continuing to find business tough, writes IRI's Richard Moule.
In the latest quarterly food pricing barometer for just-food, manufacturers across Europe and the US continue to increase their use of promotions. However, long-term deals reset the shopper's perception of what a product is worth and it can be hard for brands to recover, writes IRI's Tim Eales.
The impact of availability gaps is something not regularly measured by retailer or supplier. Yet readily-available information sources can be used to quantify the effect on the bottom line - and help improve the in-store experience for a shopper, says IRI's Mike Ray.
Major cereal manufacturers are reporting disappointing sales and there has been a decline in volume sales over the last few years. It would be easy to think that this GBP1.3bn market (in the UK alone) had gone stale, but with pockets of growth and lots of innovation, this is one category that is certainly hotting up.
Across Europe - and in the US - private-label prices are, generally, continuing to rise. Consumers have yet to baulk at the increases. However, as IRI's Tim Eales notes, as the price gap with brands narrows, retailers must work harder to convince consumers of their own-label proposition.
The UK's Office of Fair Trading's new guidelines on offers will shake up the way products are promoted, argues IRI's Richard Moule - and manufacturers are set to gain the most.
The last quarter's just-food international basket, compiled exclusively by IRI, highlights a continued rise in the price of private-label products in each of the eight countries monitored by the data. At the same time, the price of national food brands is decreasing in those countries worse hit by the continued economic turbulence – namely Spain, Italy and Greece where the presence of deflation underscores the seriousness of the austerity measures.
With growth in the FMCG sector hard to come by, IRI strategic consultant Rod Street argues more companies must spend more time trying to improve a consumer's shopping experience.
Trade promotions don't seem to boost or sustain sales volumes in the way they used to, so manufactures and retailers need to think again about how they promote their wares.
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