How meat and millennials are changing the shape of the CPG demand curve

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CHICAGO — As IRI continues to monitor the pandemic, its latest analysis revisits “The Changing Shape of the Demand Curve (Part 2)” with a closer look at the meat industry and the varying behaviors and attitudes of millennials.

COVID-19 continues its reach beyond personal health to CPG demand, inflation, supply chain and more. IRI is tracking these shifts and their impact on the CPG demand curve.


  • While retail inflation has increased, wholesale prices have soared.
  • Larger pack sizes and unused promotion allowances have absorbed some of the price impacts, but consumers notice higher prices.
  • Instability at manufacturing plants has consumers worried and short-term capacity uncertain.

Supply Chain

  • Supply chain challenges for meat provide a cautionary note to other categories.
  • Supply of products continues to be lower than pre-COVID-19 levels.


  • The largest portion of the U.S. population is vulnerable to economic fall-out.
  • From extremely concerned to relatively relaxed, millennials have different levels of COVID-19 concerns and behaviors.
  • Retailers and manufacturers can help millennials see value beyond price and ease their concerns for safety.

Visit the IRI COVID-19 Info Portal and Data Dashboard, which includes IRI’s CPG demand and supply indexes and inflation tracker, for more reports and analyses on how the pandemic is impacting CPG and retail.
In addition, the firms has just launched the IRI CPG Supply Index, which provides a standard metric for tracking weekly changes in the availability (in-stock rates) of CPG products in absolute terms, as well as a relative measure compared to pre-pandemic levels across departments, retail formats and regions.



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