Packaged goods consumers aging, more diverse

by Staff
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ORLANDO, FLA. — Cooking essentials such as flour, shortening, sugar, yeast and eggs are among the consumer packaged good categories expected to experience growth by 2020, according to The Nielsen Co. Breakfast foods are among consumer packaged good products expected to decline by 2020.

The changes are being driven by changing consumers, as there will be fewer households with children, an aging population and continued growth of lower-income consumers in the future. More and more families are becoming multi-cultural, with more than half expected to be so by 2025.

"As spending for consumer products falls, marketers will no longer be able to rely on an overall growing marketplace and taking their brands along with it," said Doug Anderson, senior vice-president of global research and development. "This means every dollar in incremental sales in most C.P.G. categories will have to be taken from a competitor rather than coming from a growing marketplace. The near future will bring a whole new relevance to the phrase ‘share wars.’"

The aging population coupled with the shrinking size of the American family will lead to households with children outnumbering those 65 and older without children by 5 million compared with 17 million during 2007. With the aging baby boomer population, culture will shift from being more based on the interest of younger people to being defined by the interests of those older.

"The demographic shifts under way create both challenges and opportunities for C.P.G. marketers and companies that anticipate the shifts could have a competitive advantage," Mr. Anderson said. "It will be absolutely critical for C.P.G. companies to adapt in order to gain the attention and brand loyalty of the aging baby boomers, multi-cultural families and lower-income consumers of the future. Those who keep doing what they’re doing today will be left behind."

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