Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Retail Data 101
and Wellness Trends

Kelsey Michel is the NielsenIQ Byzzer VP of Product. NielsenIQ is a proud sponsor of StartupCPG.

With the Natural Products Expo East right around the corner, many emerging brands are seeking additional resources to get the most out of the event. How, among a sea of competitors, can the newest, smallest brands make an impact on the biggest retailers and buyers?

With convincing data.

Startup CPG and NielsenIQ joined forces to bring a webinar to entrepreneurs on Tuesday, August 30th. The webinar, “Retail Data 101 and Wellness Trends” was hosted by our very own Peter Boyajian, along with NielsenIQ’s Sherry Frey and Kelsey Michel. The NielsenIQ data experts shared current wellness trends and insight on how to interpret key retail information to earn shelf space.

To hear the discussion directly, watch the recording here or keep reading for a summary of the key takeaways.

Know Your Consumer and Competitive Set

Convincing a retailer to carry your product begins with knowing what your consumer will pick up. Without a deep understanding of consumers’ ever-changing needs, emerging brands struggle to earn shelf placement. With the consumer in mind, you must consider how they will interact with the category landscape, including both your competitors’ and your own brand’s key characteristics.

But what is the most persuasive selling point? Giving your retailer an on-trend, in-demand product they know they can sell.

Transition to Total Wellness

Our society has shifted from individually minded to other-focused. After three years of a global pandemic, consumers are equally concerned about the greater good as their own health. Consumers are now looking for products that prioritize the health of the planet and each other, from the packaging that’s used (+17.5% increase in sustainable packaging) to animal’s wellbeing (+37.1% increase in animal welfare).

It’s a newfound social and global responsibility that, when leveraged well, can attract a wider net of conscious shoppers. NielsenIQ data shows that things like sustainable packaging and organic ingredients will continue to be a large portion of the market, but things like regenerative agriculture are seeing dramatic growth.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

The pandemic also put a spotlight on comorbidities, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Given this focus, more and more shoppers are seeking products that support their wellbeing proactively, following the ancient wisdom of Hippocrates. As an emerging brand, it’s all the more important to keep out those troublesome ingredients like sugar, carbs, and gluten when formulating. After all, consumers are much savvier in reading nutrition labels. Though the majority of people are considered “flexitarians” and adopt a variety of diets, the interest in vegan, gluten-free, and whole 30-approved items remains high.

Focus on Strong Strategy Versus Fleeting Fads

With all these wellness-focused areas to choose from, it can be hard for an emerging brand to know where to play. Two trends NielsenIQ recommends following are plant-based and socially responsible products.

Consumers are saying they want to eat more of a plant-based diet, and the $11.3 billion in sales proves that interest. While there has been strong growth over the last three years, growth in the last year of the top 15 plant-based categories is slowing in almost all but three categories: creamers, diet and nutrition, and beverages.

Being a socially responsible brand can mean serving a diverse range of customers. NielsenIQ shared an analysis showing top national brands with a more diverse consumer had faster growth over the last three years.

Find Your Niche

While many consumers still report trusting big-name brands, others flock to small brands because of their authenticity and commitment to their shared values. And, when this kind of consumer latches onto a brand, they stay loyal. This is a big opportunity for small brands.

As you think about your product niche, it’s important to define your competitive space. Consider:

  • What will resonate most with the retail buyer?
  • Does my product segment make sense, or do I need to broaden my scope to encourage future growth?
  • Which product attributes are driving consumers’ decisions and what will bring them to my brand?
Convince Them to Bet on You

Even if you aren’t attending Expo East, it’s important for you to take the time to do the same prep work before meeting with a retailer. In these meetings, you want to convince them that you are worth the risk in bringing you into distribution. Gather all the numbers to prove that you will drive overall performance and show how you fit within the competitive space.

Not sure how to get the data to make your case? NielsenIQ’s Byzzer has it for you. All Startup CPG members get access to Byzzer, NielsenIQ’s simplified data solution that empowers even the smallest of brands. Your free subscription gives you an up-close look at your brand, your competitive space, and your competitors through a lens of three key measures:

  • Sales
  • Velocity
  • Growth

This snapshot will support a data-driven, fact-based discussion, which will help you stand out from the crowd inyour next meeting with a retail prospect. Not sure how to present all this information? Byzzer’s Stories feature will help you button up your presentation.

Sign up now so you’ll be ready to support your distribution and future expansion opportunities with powerful, persuasive data.

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