Newscenter Article

Spanish households increased their spending on consumer goods by 4.6% in the first quarter of 2024, according to NIQ’s Retail Spend Barometer 

Newscenter Article

Spanish households increased their spending on consumer goods by 4.6% in the first quarter of 2024, according to NIQ’s Retail Spend Barometer 

  • Consumer spending on FMCG, technology and durable goods in Spain reached 35 billion euros during the first quarter of 2024.
  • In Spain, consumer spending has increased by 4.8% compared to the previous year, largely due to the stabilization of food prices.
  • Additionally, the switching off of DTT broadcasts has driven sales of consumer electronics in the tech and durables (T&D) sector, resulting in a growth of 3.5%. This positive trend highlights the resilience and adaptability of the Spanish consumer market.

Madrid, May 22, 2024: Spending on consumer goods, durable goods and home technology in Spain amounted to 35 billion euros during the first quarter of this year, according to the new NIQ Retail Spend Barometer, published today and launched quarterly as a joint analysis by NIQ and GfK.

This figure represents an increase of 4.6% compared to consumer spending in the same period of 2023., This growth has been moderate  mainly due to the containment observed in the prices of the products in the shopping basket, specifically in the food and perfumery-personal hygiene sectors during the quarter. At the same time, there has been an increase in spending in the technology and durable goods (T&D) sector, driven by the purchase of new television sets following the switch-off of digital terrestrial television broadcasts (DTT), according to the study that measures sales of these products in stores throughout Spain.  

NIQ’s Retail Spending Barometer provides a comprehensive view of spending in the FMCG (packaged food, fresh produce and personal and home care products) and T&D sector (consumer electronics, home appliances, DIY, optical, automotive and publishing markets) in 6 European countries. Published quarterly, the report is a big data overview of consumer spending across categories and channels, based on actual sales data, and is unique in the industry.

Food price moderation sets the tone for the FMCG market  

Following a period of instability in the FMCG market, during which prices soared well above the general CPI (Consumer Price Index) in our country to reach levels not seen before, the first quarter of 2024 has shown a shift toward more moderate growth in food inflation. This trend israpidly bringing prices back down to more sustainable levels, whilstspending across major categories has seen an increase of 5% in packaged food, 5.6% in fresh food and 2.7% in personal hygiene and perfumery.

This price containment has resulted in a certain recovery in volume, which closed this first quarter in positive figures, up 1.7% on the same period last year, improving on the situation in 2023.

It is precisely volume, now that prices are settling down, that should be the main objective of FMCG operators in 2024. We have seen a positive performance in demand in recent months, but this improvement is more visible in packaged products – with positive evolution in all categories, especially refrigerated and frozen foods, with 4.3% more – than in fresh products, among which fish and fruit where growth continues to be negative, with decreases of 7.9% and 1.6%, respectively.

In terms of the evolution across the different Autonomous Regions in Spain, those that are benefiting most from the tourist boom, such as Murcia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia, are the ones with the most positive performance in demand, with increases of 11.7%, 9.4% and 7.1% respectively, and are regions where growth is expected to continue at the highest rate in the coming months. 

Despite this positive outlook, we must not forget that cumulative inflation in the market is still very high and that, despite signs of moderation, prices are not falling as much as they should and many households, either out of necessity or lack of confidence, have changed their shopping habits. As a result, we are seeing more local shopping, with more frequent visits to stores and baskets containing fewer items . This environment certainly favors the supermarket channel, which is strengthening its leadership.


Upward trend in T&D  

Data for the T&D (Technology and Durable Goods) market during the first quarter of 2024 confirms the good performance of spending of home technology products, entertainment and other goods related to the automotive and health sectors, such as eyewear, with overall spending growing by 3.5% compared to the first quarter of 2023. This is due in part to the positive performance of the major categories, with an increase of 7.6% in consumer electronics; 6.9% in DIY and 1.7% in other durable goods, whilst household appliances was the only category showing negative growth, with a decrease of 2.7%. 

The most noteworthy trend in this period was the impact of the switching off of the DTT television signal, which has forced many Spanish households to replace their television sets, mostly in second homes or old ones that did not have the HD function integrated, boosting sales in the area of Sound and Image products by 40%, leading to the consumer technology goods (TCG) sector as a whole to experience the aforementioned growth of 7.6% during the period analyzed. 

Another market that performed well in the first quarter was spending on traditional books, with growth of around 10%, consolidating the continuing upward trend of sales of  printed books.

The decline in household appliances is mainly explained by the stabilization of sales of air fryers, which positively boosted the sector’s results last year. 

Antonio de Santos, Retailer Vertical Director of NIQ in Spain, pointed out that “although the situation with high prices is moderating, consumers have been in ‘saving’ mode for a long time and this helps to understand the positive evolution of the retail brand products, which continue to gain market share. With prices more moderate than in 2023, manufacturers have begun to reactivate the promotional lever and it is precisely special offers that are the measure most mentioned by households as a means to control their spending”.  

“However given the change we have mentioned in buyer behavior, these promotions must adapt to the new market reality,” De Santos continues . “What worked a few years ago doesn’t necessarily work now and only those promotional actions that really respond to the buyer’s needs are the ones that will bring real incremental value and will therefore be efficient.” 

For his part, Fernando Gómez Retail Head of GfK in Spain stated that “It is important to note the shifting trend in prices in a broad sense. Following a period of consistent average price increases across various major sectors, either due to inflation or changes in product offerings, we are now seeing a general decline in prices during this first quarter. This can be attributed to the slowdown of the CPI and the emergence of new market players who prioritize promotional strategies. As a result, consumers are encouraged to buy more”.  

In this sense” he continues, “the proliferation and frequency of promotions in T&D has reached new levels and will continue to serve as an important catalyst for demand. Focusing on the omnichannel experience is key, as we navigate in the future through a new ecosystem that enables greater personalization, including specialized financing services, among other aspects. We must keep sight of the emergence of new technologies, such as AI, that will revolutionize the shopping in the near future.”

About the study  

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