North AmericaNorth America is currently emerging from COVID-19’s impact. In the United States, places that were impacted by COVID-19 early on saw a surge in purchases of fast-moving consumer goods, such as packaged and frozen foods. Consumers also purchased paper products and home care items at an increased rate. Some people deliberately stock up on certain products, with over half of respondents of a survey purchasing with the hopes of supplies lasting about two weeks. In Canada, people were more frequently purchasing dry and canned goods, as well as home goods products such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Over half of Canadian survey respondents living in Manitoba stated that they had made food provisions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. In both countries, most markets for legal cannabis saw a decrease in inventory.
Latin AmericaThe coronavirus was first noted in Latin America on February 26, when Brazil established a case in São Paulo. Since then, governments across the region have taken an assortment of actions to protect their citizens and contain COVID-19’s spread. Meanwhile, citizens modified their behavior to stop the spread of the virus. Brazil saw an increase of consumption of hygiene goods, especially face masks and antibacterial gels. Hand sanitizers had a sales growth of 623 percent in March 2020. Colombian consumers purchased around thirty percent more household cleaning products than the previous year. In Argentina, most consumers purchased more personal care and household cleaning products, as well as purchasing in more substantial amounts in order to decrease trips to the store.
EuropeCOVID-19's spread across Europe has declined with more countries loosening restrictions. During the peak of the pandemic, consumers changed their spending habits in various parts of the continent. In Italy, household cleaners and personal care products were bought in higher quantities. Compared to the previous year, sales of over-the-counter health care products increased by 100 percent in Italy. Within the UK, more frozen and packaged foods were purchased. Around twenty percent of UK consumers were stockpiling goods. In Germany, goods hoarded tended to be pantry items such as flour and rice, as well as disinfecting products. This is similar to Russia, where consumers stockpiled cereals and canned food goods the most, as well as masks.
AsiaThe first impacts the virus had on the Chinese market were apparent already in February of 2020. Several consumer product categories saw a serious online median price fluctuation, while other products faced shortages on e-commerce platforms. Similarly, in Hong Kong, out-of-stock items were all-purpose bleach, cleaning wipes, and paper towels, meaning that consumers purchased these items beyond supply capacity. Emergency food sales online in South Korea increased massively, especially in the case of canned foods, which grew by 268 percent compared to the previous week. Australia, which had over five thousand cases as of April 7, 2020, also saw boosts in online purchases of certain products. Pasta, eggs, and canned meals were the food items with the largest increases in sales.
Post-pandemicIt is uncertain what the exact long-term effects of COVID-19 on the FMCG market will be, but the pandemic's economic and social significance is already apparent. Globally, FMCG categories like food, that experienced strong growth during the pandemic are expected to return to normal growth rates in the coming years. On the other hand, markets like alcoholic drinks which depend on out of home sales for a large share of revenue were negatively impacted by the pandemic and are expected to receive a boost in growth over the the next few years as consumers make up for lost time. Consumer expenditure is also likely to continue to be affected. As recently as February 2021, U.S. consumers were still increasing their spending during the pandemic and expected that they will continue to increase their spending after the pandemic has subsided.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.