CPG Trends & Tactics to Lookout for in 2021

2020 will be remembered as one for the record books. Through it all, the CPG industry faced an unstoppable virus and held strong by adopting novel ways to satisfy shifting consumer behavior and tastes. These 21 digital platforms, marketing tactics, and consumer trends are what CPG companies and retailers can count on to improve their brand in the upcoming year.

Digital Platforms

1. E-commerce/Brand:

U.S. online grocery sales are projected to grow from $23.9 billion in 2018 to almost $60 billion in 2023. If your brand is operating without a website, you’re missing out on revenue, brand identity, educating your audience, user-generated content, and more. Get this right and your fan base soars.

Key Takeaway: A well-designed, UX-friendly website should be your #1 strategy.

2. Consumer Reviews

The “Local Consumer Review ‘LCR’ Survey 2018” by Bright Local revealed that 91 percent of 18–34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Key Takeaway: Advice from actual buyers ups your younger audience A-game.

3. Mobile First

This digital strategy is all about designing for mobile devices first and scaling up to larger screens and desktop devices. The reason? A whopping 62 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase with their phones in the last six months.

 Key Takeaway: Pocketbooks and pockets go hand-in-hand.

4. Scan and Go

Adopted by Kroger, HEB, Sam’s Club, and other major grocers, this mobile checkout app allows customers to scan groceries while they shop and pay with their phones.

Key Takeaway: Quick, convenient, and contactless checkouts empower shopping to a whole new level.

5. Delivery

Lately, the convenience of home grocery delivery has outweighed the costs. Need proof? Check out the popularity of Thrive, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Shipt.

Key Takeaway: Brick to click is winning.

Marketing Tactics

6. Packaging

Sustainability, including zero waste food packaging and edible packages made from sweet potatoes, seaweed, and rice are big product draws for Millenials and eco-consumers.

Key Takeaway: For once, zero is a winning goal.

7. Brand Stories

One big reason customers latch onto a brand is that it fits or mirrors their approach to the world. Communicating the “why” they should buy your product has to be stated quickly on the packaging, and online in a much longer form.

Key Takeaway: Craft a mission statement and the rest will follow.

8. Transparency

Well-established labels like organic, local, and free-range are only part of a brand story. Consumers are craving deeper dives into ingredients, freshness, seasonality, farmers, community involvement, and how brands treat their employees.

Key Takeaway: Go deep and tell a story.

9. Social Media

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter users love to post what they’re eating and drinking. Social media posts are the meal inspiration source for 19 percent of users.

Key Takeaway: Beefing up your social marketing efforts keeps consumers engaged.

10. Video

Foodies are increasingly turning to YouTube for culinary tutorials and entertainment. Food content has generated nearly 41 billion views on YouTube.

Key Takeaway: Seeing converts consumers into buyers.

11. Subscriptions

According to Nielson, 84 percent of online-purchased meal kits are based on a subscription model. Beverage brands like Dirty Lemon are getting into the subscription game, too. 

Key Takeaway: Automatic monthly ordering results in automatic revenue.

12. Multi-cultural branding

As of 2020, a majority of the country’s population of 17-year-olds will come from an ethnic background for the first time—per the U.S. Census Bureau.

Key Takeaway: One-size-fits-all marketing is simply not a good fit. 

Rising Consumer Trends

  • Plant-based
  • Clean Label
  • Global Flavors
  • Wellness Beverages
  • Low-Glycemic

From sales to packaging and marketing, the Alliance team is ready to help your brand harness the momentum of these trends.

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