Supplier insights: the 12 COVID-19 consumer behaviours Conagra’s tapping into

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 02 July 2020

One of the key trends of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the surge in sales for large CPG suppliers, with a significant presence in core, centre-store categories. Conagra Brands has identified 12 consumer behaviours centred on re-discovery and discovery that are fuelling the growth of its brands.

Growth across the portfolio

Conagra Brands delivered strong growth in Q4, with organic sales up 21.5%, helping to lift full year sales 5.6%. This included ecommerce growth of 89.7%, which has continued to accelerate through the pandemic. It saw growth across its portfolio, including frozen foods, staples and snacks, with the latter underpinned by strong growth in popcorn, up 42.2%, and sweat treats, up 39.7% year-on-year. These categories reflect some of the major changes in consumer behaviour that the pandemic is driving.

Re-discovery and discovery

Source: Conagra Brands

The company has identified that many consumers are re-discovering the enjoyment associated with at-home eating. This includes cooking and baking as a family, movie night-ins and preparing value-minded meals. However, many are also on a food discovery journey. This includes learning to cook for the first time, recreating some of their favourites restaurant dishes at home and embracing digital solutions.

Persisting beyond COVID-19 and into a recessionary environment

Other CPG suppliers have also noted similar behaviours, many of which are associated with the switch from out-of-home to at-home consumption. While there is a degree of uncertainty as to how consumer behaviour will adapt as restaurants and other foodservice outlets re-open, Conagra expects many of these activities to persist beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are highly relevant in a recessionary environment, particularly those centred on preparing food at home. The company has mapped each of its brands against these activities and will craft its marketing approach to reinforce their relevancy for consumers.

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