McCann Worldwide Research

Household reduction, challenge and opportunity for FMCG?

Are you accustomed to family packages or discounts when buying larger volumes of product? In future, this mode of sales may change due to households’ size reduction.

This has been pointed out by Joan Leake, Strategic Intelligence Manager in Interpublic Group. She quotes that approximately 77% of American households account for only three people or less. About 38% of households are singles. Many of them can pay a higher price for a smaller purchase. At the same time, it is important for younger consumers to buy only as much as they spend, in order to not discard residues of unused food. For example, almost 20% of young consumers will not buy a new loaf of bread if they didn’t fully spend the old one. This buying pattern has a significant effect on categories such as bakery products, fruit/vegetables or eggs, not sold by piece.

On the other hand, the trend can represent an opportunity, as Joan Leake states. For example, smaller tuna or cottage cheese packages have helped to increase sales in the US market. In 2014, tinned cans take 14% of the total packaged tuna market, in 2018 already 22%. Similarly, there are cottage snacks or yoghurts traditionally sold individually. The eating habits of younger consumers, who prefer several smaller snacks during the day instead of a traditional breakfast or lunch, are also contributing to the sales growth of smaller packaging.

Additional views on the consequences of reducing households, which is also becoming a local trend in Slovenia, brings a contribution from FoodDive.


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