Strategies for Success: Turning Consumer Spending into Opportunities - NIQ

Strategies for Success: Turning Consumer Spending into Opportunities


Strategies for Success: Turning Consumer Spending into Opportunities

In today’s dynamic marketplace, understanding and leveraging consumer spending patterns have become essential for FMCG manufacturers aiming to drive growth and stay competitive. With economic factors such as inflation and shifting consumer preferences shaping purchasing behaviors, it’s more crucial than ever for businesses to adapt and find opportunities within these trends.

However, that’s often easier said than done. You need to be equipped with the knowledge to effectively navigate the evolving market landscape and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Read on for actionable insights on turning consumer spending into valuable opportunities by analyzing current spending trends, identifying key consumer segments, and exploring strategic approaches.

To effectively capitalize on consumer spending trends, it’s essential for FMCG manufacturers and retailers to first gain a comprehensive understanding of these patterns. Analyzing how and why consumers allocate their money provides invaluable insights into their priorities, preferences, and pain points. This deeper understanding allows manufacturers to identify emerging opportunities and tailor their strategies accordingly. In this section, we’ll delve into the factors driving current consumer spending trends, the importance of segmenting your target audience, and the role of data in making informed business decisions. By mastering these elements, you can turn consumer behavior insights into actionable strategies that drive growth and innovation for your brand.

In recent years, consumer spending has been influenced by a confluence of economic pressures and evolving lifestyle choices. Inflation has driven up prices across various categories, and 38% of global consumers consider themselves financially vulnerable.1 This is compelling consumers to prioritize essential goods over discretionary purchases. This shift is evident in the increased demand for value-oriented products and private-label brands as consumers seek to maximize their purchasing power. Simultaneously, there’s a growing preference for products that offer health and wellness benefits, reflecting a broader trend toward maintaining a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. Understanding these shifts is crucial for FMCG manufacturers aiming to align their product offerings with current consumer priorities.

Moreover, digital transformation has significantly impacted consumer spending habits. Online shopping continues to grow, with consumers increasingly relying on e-commerce platforms for their purchases. This trend is especially pronounced in categories like grocery and personal care, where convenience and variety play a pivotal role in buying decisions. The rise of omnichannel retailing, where consumers seamlessly switch between online and offline channels, has further complicated the consumer journey, necessitating a more integrated and responsive approach from manufacturers. By keeping a pulse on these trends, FMCG companies can better anticipate consumer needs and tailor their strategies to capture emerging opportunities in the market.

Key Consumer Segments

Identifying and understanding key consumer segments is crucial for FMCG manufacturers looking to effectively target and meet the needs of diverse customer groups. One prominent segment is the value-conscious consumer. Driven by economic pressures and a desire to stretch their budgets, these consumers prioritize affordability and seek out cost-effective options, including private-label products and bulk purchases. Brands that offer competitive pricing, promotions, and value packs are more likely to attract and retain this segment. Additionally, highlighting the cost-benefit ratio and showcasing how your products deliver quality without compromising on price can resonate well with value-conscious shoppers.

Another significant consumer segment is the health-conscious buyer. This group prioritizes products that contribute to their overall well-being, such as those with natural ingredients, low sugar content, and added health benefits like vitamins or probiotics. In 2024, there are 2X as many households reporting obesity/overweight and taking weight-loss drugs.2 The growing demand for health-conscious, clean label, and sustainably sourced products underscores the importance of transparency and ethical practices in appealing to this segment. To effectively engage health-conscious consumers, FMCG manufacturers should focus on clear and honest labeling, as well as marketing strategies that emphasize the health and wellness attributes of their products. By aligning product offerings with the values and preferences of health-conscious buyers, brands can build loyalty and drive sustained growth in this expanding market.

Shifts in Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is constantly evolving, shaped by various factors such as economic conditions, technological advancements, and societal trends. One notable shift in recent years is the rise of e-commerce and online shopping. With the convenience of browsing and purchasing products from the comfort of their homes, consumers have increasingly turned to online channels for their shopping needs. This is driving more and more FMCG brands online, increasing the competition for digital shelf space. And with online sales in North America growing 14.1% YoY, it’s clear to see why.3 This trend has been particularly pronounced in categories like groceries and personal care products, where subscription services and auto-replenishment options offer added convenience. As a result, FMCG manufacturers must adapt their distribution strategies to meet the growing demand for online shopping experiences, ensuring seamless integration across digital platforms.

Another significant shift is the increasing emphasis on sustainability and ethical consumption. In today’s environmentally conscious landscape, consumers are increasingly mindful of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet. This has led to a growing preference for eco-friendly products and brands that prioritize sustainability throughout their supply chains. FMCG manufacturers can capitalize on this trend by adopting sustainable practices, such as using recyclable packaging materials, reducing carbon emissions, and sourcing ingredients ethically. By aligning with consumer values and demonstrating a commitment to environmental stewardship, brands can differentiate themselves in the market and appeal to a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers.

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Identifying Opportunities Within Consumer Spending

In a rapidly evolving marketplace, FMCG manufacturers must proactively identify and seize opportunities within consumer spending trends to drive growth and remain competitive. By closely analyzing consumer behaviors and preferences, manufacturers can uncover valuable insights that inform strategic decision-making and product development. In this section, we explore how FMCG companies can capitalize on emerging opportunities by understanding shifting consumer needs, innovating products and marketing strategies, and leveraging data-driven insights to stay ahead of the curve. By mastering these strategies, manufacturers can position themselves for success in an increasingly dynamic and competitive landscape, maximizing their potential for growth and profitability.

Here are 6 strategies to identify opportunities within consumer spending:

1. Product Innovation

One strategy for product innovation involves leveraging technology to enhance product offerings and consumer experiences. For instance, advancements in food technology have enabled the development of novel formulations, packaging solutions, and delivery methods. From smart packaging that extends product shelf life to augmented reality experiences that enhance product engagement, technology offers endless possibilities for innovation in the FMCG industry. Despite the urban myth that 95% of all innovations fail, findings from NIQ’s Innovation Measurement database indicate that innovation vitality is not only possible, it’s worth the pursuit.4 By embracing technological advancements and incorporating them into product development processes, manufacturers can create products that resonate with modern consumers and drive brand loyalty.

2. Enhanced Marketing Strategies

In today’s competitive landscape, FMCG manufacturers must deploy enhanced marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage consumers. One strategy is to leverage digital marketing channels to expand brand visibility and connect with target audiences. With the prevalence of social media platforms and online advertising, manufacturers can engage consumers through targeted ads, influencer partnerships, and interactive content. By creating compelling digital experiences that resonate with consumers’ interests and preferences, manufacturers can build brand awareness and drive conversions in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Moreover, personalization is becoming increasingly important in marketing strategies, allowing manufacturers to deliver tailored messaging and offers to individual consumers. NIQ data has shown that, on average, brands can achieve 1–4% gross profit lift annually through personalization efforts.5 By leveraging data analytics and consumer insights, manufacturers can segment their audience based on demographics, behaviors, and preferences, enabling them to deliver relevant and personalized experiences at every touchpoint. Whether through personalized email campaigns, dynamic website content, or targeted promotions, personalized marketing strategies can enhance consumer engagement and foster brand loyalty. By harnessing the power of personalization, manufacturers can create meaningful connections with consumers and drive long-term success in the marketplace.

3. Leveraging Private Labels

In 2023, private label accounted for 19.4% of total FMCG value sales globally.6 Furthermore, private label products offer manufacturers greater flexibility and control over product development and branding. Unlike national brands, which may be constrained by legacy products and brand image, private label manufacturers can quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends. This agility allows manufacturers to innovate and introduce new products more rapidly, staying ahead of competitors and meeting evolving consumer demands. Additionally, private label products provide manufacturers with a platform to showcase their expertise and establish themselves as leaders in specific product categories, building brand trust and loyalty among consumers. By leveraging private label strategies effectively, manufacturers can unlock new growth opportunities and establish a strong foothold in the marketplace.

4. Strategic Pricing and Promotions

Strategic pricing and promotions play a crucial role in driving sales and maximizing revenue for FMCG manufacturers. By carefully analyzing market dynamics, competitive landscapes, and consumer behaviors, manufacturers can develop pricing strategies that balance profitability with consumer demand. One approach is dynamic pricing, where manufacturers adjust prices in real time based on factors such as demand, competition, and inventory levels. This agile pricing strategy allows manufacturers to optimize margins while remaining competitive in the market. Additionally, promotional strategies such as discounts, coupons, and bundling offers can stimulate consumer interest and drive sales volume. 72% of all trade spending prior to the pandemic did not return on the investment.7 By strategically timing promotions to coincide with peak buying periods or product launches, manufacturers can generate excitement and encourage trial purchases, ultimately driving long-term brand loyalty.

Moreover, pricing and promotions should be aligned with broader business objectives and brand positioning. For premium brands, maintaining a higher price point can reinforce perceptions of quality and exclusivity, while occasional promotions can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity among consumers. On the other hand, value-oriented brands may focus on offering competitive everyday pricing and frequent promotions to attract budget-conscious shoppers. By understanding the unique value propositions of their brands and target audience preferences, manufacturers can tailor pricing and promotional strategies to effectively drive sales and achieve strategic goals.

5. Embracing Sustainability and Transparency

In today’s environmentally conscious landscape, consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and transparency when making purchasing decisions. FMCG manufacturers can seize this opportunity by embracing sustainable practices throughout their operations and supply chains. This includes sourcing raw materials responsibly, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and investing in eco-friendly packaging solutions. By aligning with consumer values and demonstrating a commitment to environmental stewardship, manufacturers can differentiate their brands and appeal to a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers. Moreover, transparency is paramount in building trust and credibility with consumers. By providing clear and accurate information about product sourcing, manufacturing processes, and ingredient sourcing, manufacturers can foster transparency and authenticity, building stronger connections with consumers and driving brand loyalty.

While 70% of global consumers say that living sustainably is important to them, conscious consumerism is far from mainstream.8 FMCG manufacturers must leverage sustainability and transparency as key differentiators in the marketplace. By showcasing their sustainability initiatives and commitments, manufacturers can position themselves as leaders in corporate social responsibility and attract socially conscious consumers. This can lead to increased brand loyalty, positive brand perception, and ultimately, higher sales and market share. Additionally, transparency can help manufacturers build credibility and trust with consumers, enhancing brand reputation and driving long-term success in the marketplace. By embracing sustainability and transparency as core pillars of their business strategies, FMCG manufacturers can create positive social and environmental impacts while driving business growth and profitability.

6. Expanding Omnichannel Presence

In today’s digital age, expanding omnichannel presence is essential for FMCG manufacturers to reach consumers wherever they are and provide seamless shopping experiences. In the US, 86% of FMCG dollar sales are represented by “omnichannel shoppers.”9 By leveraging multiple channels such as e-commerce platforms, brick-and-mortar stores, and social media, manufacturers can create a cohesive brand experience that resonates with consumers across various touchpoints. This omnichannel approach allows manufacturers to meet consumers’ preferences for convenience and flexibility, catering to diverse shopping behaviors and preferences. Additionally, an expanded omnichannel presence enables manufacturers to tap into new markets and reach a broader audience, driving sales and brand growth.

Moreover, integrating online and offline channels seamlessly can enhance customer engagement and loyalty. By offering options such as click-and-collect, curbside pickup, and same-day delivery, manufacturers can provide added convenience to consumers while encouraging them to interact with the brand through multiple channels. Furthermore, data analytics and customer insights from omnichannel interactions can inform personalized marketing strategies and product recommendations, enhancing the overall shopping experience and driving repeat purchases. By prioritizing an expanded omnichannel presence, FMCG manufacturers can stay ahead of the competition and meet the evolving needs of modern consumers in today’s dynamic retail landscape.

Meet Shifting Consumer Needs With Data

To reach today’s consumers, you need to know where they’re choosing to shop, how, and why. But that’s only possible if you have access to reliable, up-to-date data.

If you aren’t currently using data, you can start your journey with a free Byzzer™ subscription, NIQ’s platform built for emerging brands and their budgets. Free access gets you 3 free reports and a weekly alert to get you started with data.

If you’re ready for the next step, you should look at NIQ’s Analytics tools that provide a full view to help you optimize your planning and grow. From sales forecast trends to key business drivers and even a simulation tool for custom “what if” scenarios, NIQ has the data you need.


1 NIQ 2024 Consumer Outlook

2 NIQ, What’s Next in Wellness 2024 Webinar

3 NIQ Retail Measurement Services, Total FMCG / CPG, annual period ended Q3 2023 vs. Year-ago – Ecommerce 15 markets considered, via Quarter By Numbers, Channel report

4 NIQ’s Innovation Measurement

5 NIQ Personalized Marketing Data

6 Private label market share data from Nielsen Q2 2022

7 NIQ Ultimate Guide to Pricing and Promotion

8 NIQ Green Divide

9 NIQ From Blind Spots to Breakthroughs