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Consumers Prefer Larger Sizes

Nielsen also publishes top 10 CPG lists

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- With the current struggling economy, more than half (58%) of U.S. consumers are "very concerned" about rising food prices, research from The Nielsen Co. shows. As consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers employ options to manage abnormally high cost increases due to raw material and other expenditures, consumers are voicing their preferences on how CPG manufacturers and retailers should handle rising costs.

According to The Nielsen Co.:
Nearly half (47%) of consumers surveyed prefer CPG manufacturers offer large, economy sizes [image-nocss] with lower price points per serving. Only 17% of consumers prefer CPG manufacturers introduce new, smaller pack sizes at lower prices. 9% of consumers suggest CPG manufacturers downsize or modestly reduce the packaging size of products, keeping the price of the product the same. Other options include raising the prices of existing items proportionally (8%); offer fewer sales (8%); offer the same number of sales, but at less of a savings (7%); and produce slightly lower-quality products, but keep the price the same (4%). "Without question, this is an extremely tough time for today's consumer," said Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, The Nielsen Co., Schaumburg, Ill. and New York "CPG manufacturers and retailers have few options to manage rising commodity costs beyond absorbing increased costs, passing on increases to consumers by raising prices or cover increased costs by downsizing offerings. Downsizing, in particular, is not a new option-we've seen downsizing over the last few years in a number of categories, including ice cream, cereal, candy bars, salty snacks and paper products."

Meanwhile, Nielsen published the following top 10 lists:

Consumer Purchasing Trends

Top 10 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Purchased by U.S. Homes

Rank/Category (Percent of homes who purchased each category within past year)
Bread & Baked Goods (99%). Paper Products (99%). Snacks (98%). Condiments, Gravies & Sauces (98%). Candy (97%). Milk, Cream, Eggnog, Shakes & Drinks (97%). Cheese (97%). Fresh Produce (96%). Packaged Meat-Refrigerated (96%). Carbonated Beverages (96%).

Note: The percentage of U.S. households who purchased at least once during 52-weeks
ending June 28, 2008. Manufacturer prepackaged, UPC items only.

Top 10 Consumer Package Goods (CPG) Sold in U.S. Retail Stores

Rank/ Category (Dollars Sold, in Billions)
Bread & Baked Goods ($18.3). Carbonated Beverages ($18.2). Fresh Produce ($16.5). Milk, Cream, Eggnog, Shakes & Drinks ($16.3). Paper Products ($14.8). Snacks ($14.6). Packaged Meat-Refrigerated ($13.2). Cheese ($13.1). Prepared Foods-Frozen ($11.3). Pet Food ($10.9).

Note: Manufacturer prepackaged, UPC items only. Total U.S. Food/Drug/Mass Merchandiser Stores, including Walmart; 52-weeks ending Nov. 1, 2008.

The Nielsen Co. is a global information and media company.

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