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Nielsen expects FMCG sales growth this holiday season

By Jenina P. Ibañez, Senior Reporter

NIELSEN expects growth in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales in the Philippines during the holidays, led mostly by food and baking product sales.

Nielsen Retail Intelligence Managing Director for the Philippines Patrick Cua said the current lockdown protocols will mean that Filipinos will continue contributing to a “homebody economy” as they celebrate from home.

“With cooking being central to festivities, we predict a growth in baking and food category this year,” he said in a press release on Wednesday.

The firm expects sales growth in ham, all-purpose cream, pasta, and canned goods.

With a projected rise in FMCG sales, Mr. Cua said manufacturers need to adopt different strategies to appeal to shoppers who have experienced financial losses during the pandemic as well as those restricted by the lockdown.

“Packaging, promotions and bundled deals would be key to win the Christmas shopper. With a slowly stabilizing economy, we predict that discount value shopping will power holiday consumer behavior in 2020,” he said.

Nielsen said consumer behavior will change, led by online shopping, self-care spending, and single-serve or smaller sized purchases, even for celebrations. Products defined as “gifts” will also change.

“Holiday spending and gifting will be refined based on what and who are considered essential for each consumer… From a necessity that can no longer fit the budget, to a product that has been harder to get in stores this year, there will be big shifts in what defines a ‘gift.’”

Christmas holiday sales from 2017 to 2019 amounted to P96.7 billion, bigger than the P91 billion during the back-to-school season or July and August, Nielsen said.

Philippine retailers expect subdued sales during the holidays, even after overall sales improved as lockdown restrictions were eased. The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) said they expect December to maintain its position as the top sales month for the year through online selling, but shopping will be relatively limited.

The surge in FMCG sales during the holidays will be lower than the usual 20% seen in previous years, market research company Kantar Worldpanel Division Philippines said last month.

Kantar said this will be caused by reduced shopper mobility, limited outlet operations due to the quarantine, limited consumer purchasing power, and uneven availability of products in stores.

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