IRI launches CPG economic indicators to measure COVID-19 impact on consumer spending and pricing in Europe

IRI, a global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, has released two economic indicators for CPG retailers and manufacturers in Europe in the wake of COVID-19. The IRI Demand Index and IRI Inflation Tracker measure weekly changes and also provide insights and key trends for brands and retailers who continue to face challenges and unprecedented demand on their businesses during the global pandemic.

The IRI Demand Index monitors weekly changes in purchases by value sales against the same period a year ago across departments/aisles, categories and in some countries, across retail formats, including e-commerce, and regions. Using the full power of IRI’s world-leading data assets from European retail channels, combined with its fully automated forecasting solution, it is set to become the industry standard metric for tracking changes in consumer spending in CPG throughout the crisis and beyond.

The IRI Inflation Tracker tracks changes in the price of CPG goods, monitoring weekly changes in consumer prices against the same period a year ago across departments/aisles, categories and in some countries, across retail formats and regions. Price changes can be down to one or more factors: list price changes, alterations in price promotions, trading up or down to higher or lower priced products, and/or the purchase of larger or smaller packages. The Inflation Tracker is based on IRI’s unrivalled data assets, including data from retailers’ point-of-sale (PoS) transactions.

Dr. Kirshnakumar (KK) S. Davey, president strategic analytics, IRI, comments: “Consumer behaviour and spending has changed over the last three months as they have come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic. For CPG retailers and brands, the situation has been even more profound as they face unique challenges while continuing to operate and service customers to the highest standards. During these times, access to fast, accurate, up-to-date information on sales through the IRI Demand Index is critical, while IRI’s Inflation Tracker helps organisations react quickly to volatile pricing changes and ensures products are dynamically priced and can anticipate future changes.”

Baljit ‘Bal’ Dail, president of IRI Global, adds: “These two economic indicators are a powerful combination, providing a consistent, comparable global view of demand and inflation. They will enable managers to benchmark their performance across countries and continents, and are useful for global clients of IRI, public policy makers, industry leaders, associations, retailers and government to get a clear read on what is happening in this constantly dynamic industry.” 

Recent insights revealed by the IRI Demand Index and IRI Inflation Tracker include:

  • Across all countries analysed, the demand remains high for total CPG even though there is a slow down in some countries: France and Italy. This is despite price increases across all countries since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, except in France where this increase is more recent (since 10 May).
  • Frozen food is the winner across all countries, but the growth drivers for this macro category vary according to countries. In the UK, where it has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, ice creams & desserts and frozen fish categories are leading the growth. In the Netherlands, vegetables, desserts & juices and potato products are the drivers. In Italy, the growth of frozen food is not impacted by the decrease in demand in the ice creams category.
  • In France and the UK, demand for sweet products is decreasing. In the UK, for in-store bakery, and more recently for confectionery, and in France, during the last week for sweet grocery.
  • Despite the price decrease for laundry detergent in Germany and France, demand has decreased most of the time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, except for the last week in Germany.

The IRI Demand Index and IRI Inflation Tracker are proprietary models, powered by IRI Liquid Data, and using dozens of integrated data sets to track the daily impact of COVID-19 on shoppers and the CPG and retail industries. Both are available now for the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, while other countries will be added soon. 

All of IRI’s indicators and COVID-19 insights and updates can be found on the IRI COVID-19 Info Portal.