Newscenter Article

NIQ Retail Spend Barometer: Turnover increased by 3.3 percent compared to Q1 2023

Newscenter Article

NIQ Retail Spend Barometer: Turnover increased by 3.3 percent compared to Q1 2023

  • German consumers are keen to spend on fast-moving consumer goods, but are holding back on tech and durables products.
  • The European Football Championship is expected to have a major impact on consumer spending this summer.

Frankfurt am Main / Nuremberg, Germany – May 28, 2024. Consumer spending on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) as well as tech and durables products (T&D) in Germany rose by 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year, to a total of EUR 97 billion. The FMCG market grew, while T&D products remained stable compared to 2023. Based on the second NIQ Retail Spend Barometer, the retail experts at NIQ/GfK have analyzed why these two sectors experience this difference in spending and to what impact the European Football Championship is going to have on consumer spending this summer.

FMCG sales growth in Q1 2024 due to earlier Easter holidays and lower reluctance to buy

Sales of food and drugstore products in Germany increased by 4.6 percent in Q1 2024 compared to the previous year. In comparison, the same figure increased by 5.9 percent in Austria and 1.2 percent in Switzerland. Consumers were increasingly willing to buy in stores again, which was reflected in a sales growth of 4.5 percent for food, 3 percent for fresh produce and 6.1 percent for near-food products (such as drugstore products). This trend was fuelled by flattening inflation, promotions by retailers, in particular discounters, a higher purchasing frequency and earlier Easter holidays this year.

All FMCG sales channels contributed to this growth, with the exception of supermarkets, which recorded a 2.3 decline in sales of food and near-food products (excluding fresh produce). In contrast, discounters and drugstores not only increased their turnover in the first quarter of 2023, but also their overall sales volumes significantly.

Special offers lead to more frequent shopping

Especially during high inflation periods, frequent promotions have proven themselves as an effective way of providing customers with attractive offers. Consumers are happy to take advantage of special offers: In the food sector (excluding fresh produce), 24.6 percent of all products sold in the first quarter of 2024, were sold under promotional conditions. As a cumulative 12-month comparison for the German FMCG market shows, 5.3 percent fewer items were purchased. However, at the same time household purchasing increased by 5.8 percent. In other words, consumers bought less per shopping trip, but shopped more frequently.

“Due to a higher volume of shopping in the FMCG sector, we saw a year-on-year sales increase for the second year in a row. A market-driven pricing strategy and the right promotions at the right time are important levers for retailers to provide attractive offers to their customers to remain competitive and secure margins”, says Oliver Schmitz, Head of Retail DACH at NIQ/GfK. “This trend can be observed in retail right now: Consumers are increasingly purchasing along special offers and are visiting a wider range of shops to meet their needs – no longer one-stop shopping, but rather shop-hopping.”

Still no growth in the Tech & Durables sector

With a sales growth of 0.1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2024, the market for T&D products remained stable overall, however the individual market sectors differed.

Consumers were strongly reluctant to spend in the consumer electronics sector. Many consumers have not yet started to replace products they purchased during the pandemic, with televisions particularly affected by this: They saw a decline in turnover of 14.8 percent compared to the same quarter in the previous year, with a decline in sales volume of 10.4 percent. The European Football Championship also already has an effect on these figures: Bargain hunters may still be waiting for major discounts shortly before the start of the championship, therefore refraining from buying televisions in Q1 2024. In contrast, smartphones bucked the downward trend with a sales growth of 3 percent.

Household appliances performed negatively overall, with a 2 percent sales decline compared to the first quarter of 2023. For example, there was less demand for large appliances such as fridges and washing machines (3 percent decline in sales), due to the current housing sector crisis, which led to fewer new appliances being purchased, as well as a continuing trend of consumer saving. In addition, a decline in prices for washing machines and coffeemakers could be observed, which also contributed to an overall decline in turnover.

Innovation beats brand loyalty

Small household appliances on the other hand experienced significant growth of 3 percent due to innovations and a strong presence on social media, with hot air fryers standing out clearly with a 47.3 percent sales increase. Hair stylers and robot vacuum cleaners also experienced significant sales growth compared to the same quarter in the previous year, with 17.9 percent and 15.5 percent respectively.

Consumer brand loyalty is decreasing, especially for small appliances. Instead, consumers are looking for the most innovative products with the best features that offer clear added value. Examples include products that offer a reduction in complexity for everyday tasks such as robot vacuum cleaners with an integrated wet mopping feature – consumers are willing to pay premium prices for these types of products.

“In addition to innovative features, sustainability is also an important purchasing factor for consumers. Our latest GfK Sustainability Index shows that consumers are once again putting a greater emphasis on sustainability when shopping, especially when making larger purchases”, says Oliver Schmitz. “We also expect the European Football Championship this summer to provide a positive market stimulus. Experience shows that events like this boost sales of TVs, snacks and drinks, but also of less obvious market sectors.”

The NIQ Retail Spend Barometer provides a complete overview of spending in the FMCG sector (everyday products, such as perishable and non-perishable food, beverages and drugstore products) and in the T&D sector (technical consumer goods, household appliances, DIY and clothing) in Germany.

About the study

The NIQ Retail Spend Barometer examines consumer spending on FMCG and T&D products in Germany. 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 and DIY.

The data comes from NielsenIQ and GfK 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