Newscenter Article

NIQ Retail Spend Barometer: Q1 consumer spending in the Netherlands is 1.1 percent above last year’s Q1

Newscenter Article

NIQ Retail Spend Barometer: Q1 consumer spending in the Netherlands is 1.1 percent above last year’s Q1

  • Prices in the tech and durables sector (T&D) are stabilizing, with a high willingness to spend for highly featured premium products. 
  • Consumers are saving on food and drugstore products, but to a lesser extent than last year. 

Amstelveen – May 23, 2024. The new NIQ Retail Spend Barometer shows that in the Netherlands consumer spending on everyday products (such as perishable and non-perishable food, beverages and drugstore products) as well as technical consumer goods, household appliances, DIY and clothing was 1.1 percent higher in the first quarter of 2024 than in the same period last year, for a total of EUR 20.4 billion. Growth was primarily driven by near-food, DIY and home improvement products, while technical consumer goods and large appliances experienced a decline and in the food retail sector, the upcoming legislation on tobacco products has already had a noticeable effect. Combined data from NIQ and GfK also shows how the retail spend has changed in Q1. 

The tech and durables sector recorded a 0.4 percent decline in sales compared to the same period last year. Overall, average prices have stabilized – in contrast to last year, when inflation led to sharp price increases in some cases. 

No Post-Covid: Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect slow-moving products 

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still being felt in the T&D sector, where a low purchasing frequency is common. Numerous product categories in this sector that boomed during the coronavirus years are now experiencing a decline in sales: For example, many consumers already refitted their kitchens during the pandemic, so there was less demand for appliances such as fridges and ovens. As a result, nearly 5 percent fewer large electrical appliances were sold in Q1/2024 compared to the same period in the previous year, with turnover falling by 2.9 percent.  This effect is expected to continue. Sales of e-bikes, which were in high demand during the pandemic as well, also fell by 10 percent in Q1, after previous losses in Q1/2023. 

In the DIY and home improvement sector, however, some product categories appear to have weathered the decline: Paints and related power tools, such as sanders, still experienced significant declines in the first quarter of 2023, but have experienced growth in Q1/2024, with a 22 percent sales volume increase for sanders and a sales growth rate of 20 percent for wood protection paint. 

Premiumization drives growth in several TCG categories 

Although the market for technical consumer goods lost 3.1 percent in sales overall, individual categories bucked the trend: Smartphones experienced a sales increase of 1.6 percent, driven by the market launch of new high-priced models. Consumers are willing to spend more on highly featured premium product. Similar premiumization effects can also be observed in personal care products such as hair styling appliances, where the average sales price has increased by more than 20 percent compared to Q1/2023. In the sector of small kitchen appliances, the trend towards Cooking @ Home from recent years is continuing, with small kitchen appliances achieving a sales growth of 4 percent in Q1/2024. “Funcooking equipment” experienced an even greater growth of more than 17 percent.  

FMCG: Upcoming tobacco legislation already affects the food market 

Consumers spent 1.9 percent more on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the first quarter of 2024 than in Q1/2023. The near-food categories recorded a particularly strong increase in sales, while sales of food fell by 0.2 percent. 

The main reason for this change is the new tobacco legislation, which bans the sale of tobacco products in supermarkets from June 1, 2024. Some stores have already stopped selling cigarettes and tobacco products – leading to a decline in sales compared to 2023 that cannot be offset by other categories. In the first quarter, there was a significant decline in turnover of cigarettes (-21 percent revenue) and rolling tobacco (-36 percent turnover) compared to the previous year. 

If these categories are excluded from the overall analysis of FMCG products, sales grew by 3.2 percent compared to Q1 2023. 

Consumer behavior shifts are less pronounced than in 2023 

It is still important for consumers to save money when shopping. Although inflation is continuing to flatten out and consumer sentiment is recovering to some degree (-22 in March 2024, compared to -48 in 2022 and -39 in 2023), it is still at a low level (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS). 

“We are still observing changed consumer behaviors. For example, they are increasingly buying private labels and special offers in order to keep their shopping bills as low as possible,” says Jasper Bins, Retail Vertical Director Benelux, NIQ and GfK. “However, due to flattening inflation, we can also observe less extreme sales changes across categories than last year.” 

Easing inflation creates opportunities for retailers and manufacturers 

For retailers and manufacturers, it is therefore still all the more important to recognize and strategically leverage opportunities when they arise. Comprehensive FMCG and T&D data such as the NIQ Retail Spend Barometers provide the ideal basis to do so. 

“Due to the flattening inflation and the European Football Championship, we expect consumers to be more willing to spend in the summer, especially for TVs and projectors, but also for barbecues, barbecue accessories and soft drinks, for example,” says Jasper Bins. “If retailers and manufacturers know the categories in which consumers are willing to invest more, they can create incentives to buy and meet customer needs with targeted discount campaigns and special offers. With the comprehensive data that we offer our clients with The Full View™, they will be able to hold their own in the current turbulent market.” 

About the study

The NIQ Retail Spend Barometer examines consumer spending on FMCG and T&D products in Netherlands. It tracks real sales figures and measures changes in past purchase trends. The FMCG categories covered include food, groceries, perishables and near-food, and the T&D categories include technical consumer goods, household appliances, DIY and clothing. The data comes from NielsenIQ and GfK retail market measurement, which together measure the sales of over 350,000 retail partners worldwide. 

About GfK

For over 89 years, we have earned the trust of our clients around the world by solving critical questions in their decision-making process. We fuel their growth by providing a complete understanding of their consumers’ buying behavior, and the dynamics impacting their markets, brands and media trends. In 2023, GfK combined with NIQ, bringing together two industry leaders with unparalleled global reach. With a holistic retail read and the most comprehensive consumer insights – delivered with advanced analytics through state-of-the-art platforms – GfK drives “Growth from Knowledge”. For more information, visit

About NIQ

NIQ is the world’s leading consumer intelligence company, delivering the most complete understanding of consumer buying behavior and revealing new pathways to growth. In 2023, NIQ combined with GfK, bringing together the two industry leaders with unparalleled global reach. With a holistic retail read and the most comprehensive consumer insights – delivered with advanced analytics through state-of-the-art platforms – NIQ delivers the Full View™. 

NIQ, is an Advent International portfolio company with operations in 100+ markets, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit