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IRI: Preparing for lasting changes plus how lessons from past recession apply to today

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CHICAGO — As IRI continues to monitor the pandemic, the company is releasing a new IRI Point of View, developed by IRI in the UK, Advancing in the Next Normal: How the FMCG Industry Can Prepare for Lasting Changes.”

Despite there being no blueprint, we must now prepare for the next normal – an entirely new approach to the industry beyond the lockdown. This whitepaper, relevant across markets, outlines six key implications that will impact the consumer and retail landscape that have emerged during the crisis, including the need for value, innovation, reconfiguring retail, channel shifting, connecting with consumers and updating the supply chain.

In addition,  IRI is  continuing to publish our special Recession-Proof Your Businessseries with the fourth installment, “Recessionary Lessons To Apply To Private Label.” Since the last recession, select retailers have invested heavily in private label programs, many with tiered offerings, product features and benefits, not just price. Private label holds potential for retailers who want to reach consumers across the economic spectrum, both as a trip-driver and loyalty builder, and is an increasingly competitive threat to national brands. IRI predicts private label growth of up to $20 billion for 2020-2021.

Implications for the 2020 Recession

  • Private label competitive patterns observed in the Great Recession are emerging in the COVID-19-induced recession.
  • Both edible and nonedible private label outpaced national brand growth since 2017 and continues to grow in 2020.
  • Categories that already have strong private label development continue to gain the most.
  • Walmart, Costco and Sam’s Club are driving most of the current private label growth.
  • Private label risk to brands is high when differentiation and loyalty are low, and the financial incentive for both shoppers and retailers is strong.

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