Wednesday May 9, 2012
EXPO Speaker: 'Focus On Big Picture'
Chicago — Understanding the confectionery industry without considering the overall economy is difficult, if not impossible, SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.’s Sally Lyons-Wyatt told SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO attendees during Tuesday’s Keynote session.
As many as 43 million U.S. consumers rely on government assistance to buy groceries, with 23 percent of polled adults having difficulty affording groceries, Lyons-Wyatt revealed. On the whole, U.S. consumers don’t see their situation changing in the next year. For candymakers and retailers, that translates into a sales volume decline, even as inflation and increased supply and production costs have led to increased dollar sales.
However, consumer snacking frequency is up, with those saying they snack three to four times a day reaching 43 percent in 2012. The time of day consumers engage in a particular activity, also is a significant trend, Lyons-Wyatt said.
Shopping habits are changing, with consumers trending away from once-a-week pantry stock-ups toward quick trips and visiting drug stores and c-stores in place of traditional grocery stores.
When seeking snacks, 70 percent of consumers actively look for the best value but are experiencing “promotional fatigue” and want retailers to offer a reasonable, regular price. “It’s absolutely critical to get pricing right,” Lyons-Wyatt said.
Retailers and suppliers should focus on giving consumers a reason to spend their already-scarce funds on snacks and candy, whether that means emphasizing the indulgence aspect or the nutritional side, she said. CST