IRI: Consumers beginning new year with conservative outlook
CHICAGO — After a year of sluggish economic growth in 2013, it is no surprise that consumers are beginning the new year with a conservative outlook. An IRI MarketPulse survey released Wednesday found that shopper sentiment dropped in fourth quarter 2013, and this gloomy attitude is spilling over into 2014 across all age groups.
It is particularly evident among millennials, who reported a 10-point decline since third quarter 2013 and have consistently struggled since the economic downturn began.
“The economy is slowly returning to a healthier state, but the road has been longer and harder than anyone expected, and it has been littered with obstacles,” stated Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership, IRI. “As a result, consumers are holding strong to the strategies that saw them through the worst of the downturn.”
IRI’s Shopper Sentiment Index provides perspective in terms of price sensitivity, brand loyalty and changes in spending required to maintain desired lifestyles. With a benchmark score of 100 based on first quarter 2011 information, a Shopper Sentiment Index score of more than 100 reflects consumers who are less price driven, more loyal to favorite brands and better equipped to maintain their desired lifestyle without changes.
The latest index for fourth quarter 2013 is 102, which dropped after hitting a two-year high of 109 in third quarter 2013. The fourth quarter also marked the first negative quarter of 2013. A number of factors likely contributed to shopper confidence being shaken, such as the debt ceiling crisis (73% awareness), the rollout of Obamacare (75% awareness), and the conflict in Syria (90% awareness). In addition, the reduction of food stamp benefits, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will increase financial pressure for 48 million Americans.
Going into the fourth year post-recession, consumers are still finding it difficult to maintain their desired lifestyles and are struggling to make ends meet. The fourth quarter 2013 MarketPulse survey results point to why many consumers continue to face tough times:
- 83% of consumers are having difficulty affording their regular groceries;
- 39% feel their financial situation is worse today than one year ago; and
- 43% say their financial position is unchanged versus one year ago.
As a result of these ongoing difficulties, consumers will continue to trim expenses by following conservative usage patterns throughout 2014:
- 53% are working to make personal care products last longer;
- 51% are finding ways to make cleaning products last longer;
- 49% are cooking from scratch more/using fewer convenience items to save money;
- 40% are making beauty care products last longer by using fewer, using less frequently, etc.; and
- 29% are sharing more products.
And, it doesn’t stop there. When making purchases, consumers also are demonstrating adeptness for saving that has been honed over the course of the downturn. For instance, 90% are eliminating unnecessary purchases, and 67% are making shopping lists prior to going to the store.
“Our results clearly indicate that 2014 will be yet another challenging year for consumers and CPG marketers alike,” Viamari said. “But, both parties have demonstrated resilience and the ability to adapt quickly to challenges and opportunities. CPG marketers must hold on to that resilience this year and continue to provide shoppers with exciting products that make life easier and more affordable with a targeted value proposition."
Bic Soleil Glow razor hits shelves
SHELTON, Conn. — Bic Consumer Products has broadened its portfolio of razors with the new Bic Soleil Glow, which started hitting retail shelves this month.
“What’s unique about Soleil Glow is the Comfort Shield head, which evenly distributes pressure and glides over the skin to provide a silky, smooth shave,” said Linda Palladino, senior brand manager women’s shavers at BIC Consumer Products USA. “This helps protect the skin from irritation, which, along with glide, is one of the most important attributes for women when selecting a razor.”
In addition, Bic Soleil Glow offers:
- Three flexible blades that individually adjust to curves;
- Lubricating strips with vitamin E and aloe;
- Pivoting head and rubber grip for comfort; and
- Three pastel colored handles in every pack.
The new Bic Soleil Glow has a suggested retail price of $6.97 for a package of three, triple-blade razors.
Gillette celebrates Super Bowl countdown with ticket giveaway promotion
BOSTON — With Super Bowl XLVIII only weeks away, Procter & Gamble’s Gillette has announced the chance for football fans to score last-minute tickets to The Big Game.
Gillette is asking fans to “Shave Paint Win” — shave, proudly paint their face in support of their team and then share their picture on Twitter for a chance to win tickets, travel and hotel accommodations for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.
Also taking part in the promotion is linebacker Clay Matthews. Matthews will announce one winner each day via his personal Twitter handle, @ClayMatthews52.
Fans can look out for Gillette’s promotional tweet containing the hashtag #ShavePaintWin and retweet @Gillette with a photo of their best game-day face paint. Retweets must include @Gillette, the #ShavePaintWin hashtag and be clean shaven (for men) to be considered. One winner will be chosen each day until Jan. 23 and announced on Twitter the following day by Matthews. Fans may re-enter each day to increase their chances. Each winner will be chosen at random to receive two tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII, along with hotel accommodations and airfare.
All season long, Gillette has been providing experiences to help NFL fans get even closer to the game. Through the brand’s “Best a Fan Can Get Sweepstakes,” available through game pieces inside all specially marked Gillette Fusion ProGlide cartridge packs through Feb. 1, or while supplies last, one grand prize winner will receive a pair of season tickets to their favorite NFL Team — for life. Five winners also will receive an all-inclusive package for two to attend Super Bowl XLIX. Additional sweepstakes prizes include the ultimate at-home Super Bowl takeover, footballs autographed by Matthews, Visa gift cards, NFL Shop discounts and free Gillette products. Fans can also enter to win by requesting a game piece through the mail or entering the second-chance drawing at gillette.com/BestAFanCanGet.