Backed by rising consumer confidence and optimism, many of the world’s economies are experiencing degrees of positive momentum. In some cases, that momentum is strong; in others, it’s subtle, but still worth noting.
Thanks to globalization and connectivity, consumers around the world have access to a wider array of products than ever. So how much weight does the “made in” moniker carry when it comes to purchase motivation?
Backed by improving global consumer confidence, many regions are seeing improved conditions for businesses and the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Here, we’ll look at trends in a few select countries.
In contrast to the ongoing market challenges facing global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers, consumers are in better spirits than they were at the end of 2016. In fact, global consumer confidence has risen three index points since the close of last year.
Global consumer confidence increased modestly in 2016, a time of great political and economic change around the world, rising three points between the first and fourth quarters to 101. Confidence scores finished the year more strongly than they began in every region except Africa/Middle East.
The premium sector is growing globally, and as it turns out, it isn’t ritzy categories like diamonds and champagne that are topping the charts. Rather, global consumers are most often willing to trade up for everyday consumables.
Around the world, consumers are looking for a taste of the good life. And it’s not just those who are wealthy. Sales of products in the “premium” tier are growing at a rapid pace. In fact, the growth of the premium sector in many markets is outpacing total growth for many fast-moving consumer goods categories.
Consumers are faced with a dizzying array of retailers vying for their attention, and a retail loyalty program can be a determining factor for where they decide to shop. In fact, 72% of global respondents agree that, all other factors equal, they’ll buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over one without.
When it comes to the most-valued loyalty-program benefits, monetary incentives top the list in every region. However, creating meaningful differentiation requires offering more than generic deals, and thinking beyond monetary perks can help brands stand out.
Global consumers, by and large, have more shopping choices at their disposal than ever before. For retailers, differentiating your brand in such a crowded space is critical. A retail loyalty program can be an effective way to create competitive advantage by reducing customers’ likelihood to switch stores.
While the third quarter of 2016 saw considerable economic diversity across the markets measured by Nielsen’s Global Survey, consumer confidence in the U.S. remained on solid footing with a score of 106, despite a decline of seven points from the second quarter.
Third-quarter 2016 global consumer confidence remained stable at 99, up one point from the second quarter and unchanged from third-quarter 2015. Country-level scores, however, varied dramatically throughout the regions, reflecting considerable economic diversity around the world.
Among global respondents, 74% say they appreciate the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime, and 70% strongly or somewhat agree that their mobile device has made their life better. This constant connectivity has not only changed the way we keep in touch, but also the way we shop, bank and pay for goods and services.
Grabbing a bite to eat outside of the house is a weekly occurrence for almost half of global respondents, but are we stopping to savor our entrees or eating grub on the go? As it turns out, we’re doing quite a bit of both.
While today’s consumers certainly scrutinize the foods that fill their pantries, they aren’t just eating at home. In fact, eating out isn’t just for special occasions; it’s a way of life for nearly half of global respondents.
The ins-and-outs of what a healthy diet looks like may vary somewhat around the world, but simplicity resonates globally. While there is some variation across regions, the story stays the same: Artificial is out, many of us avoid food with long lists of ingredients and consumers are intent on removing the bad and adding the good.
In addition to representing their countries and competing for medals, para-sports athletes participating in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this month will be challenging stereotypes, increasing inclusion and breaking down social barriers—something these competitors have been doing since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy in 1960.
As a consumer group, Millennials are just starting to flex their spending power, which will grow significantly in the coming years. While they’re years from fully establishing themselves, they’re already having a marked impact on the global consumer landscape.
Nearly two-thirds of global respondents say they follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of some foods or ingredients. Taking a closer look, a majority of global respondents say that when it comes to ingredient trends, a back-to-basics mind-set, focused on simple ingredients and fewer artificial or processed foods, is a priority.
Consumers around the world are increasingly focused on clean eating and the benefits of eating more healthfully, with 70% of global respondents saying they actively make dietary choices to help prevent health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
Global consumer confidence held steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that was flat from the first quarter and two points higher than a year earlier. North America was the only region to sustain growth momentum in the second quarter, demonstrating a three-point increase in confidence to 111.
As the world collaborates on the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, good data are critical to the world’s ability to set goals, generate plans and measure our collective progress.
In modern retail, the use of promotions has slowly escalated to become a now-standard practice that has resulted in a shared reliance among retailers and manufacturers, but decent returns are increasingly hard to generate. So knowing which categories are more or less sensitive to pricing changes is essential for driving growth.
A core element in increasing share of wallet is understanding and responding to local consumer needs. It makes sense then, that differentiation from your competition could be an important way to build a competitive advantage. So what are consumers looking for?
Modern retail has long been guided by a powerful premise: the bigger, the better. Retailers, consumers and suppliers all benefited from economies of scale, but over the past 10 to 15 years, the retail store model has evolved. So how can retailers stay ahead in the rapidly changing landscape?
Though global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter, there was notable variation on a country-by-country basis, and many markets noted a growing recessionary sentiment. In fact, six in 10 global respondents believed their nation’s economy was in recession in the first quarter.
When asked to pick the attributes they seek when purchasing all-purpose cleaners, 40% around the world say they want environmentally friendly benefits and nearly as many (36%) say they don’t want harsh chemicals.
When it comes to choosing specific products, do consumers prefer global brands or local ones? The answer depends primarily on the category, and there is a surprising amount of agreement across regions.
When it comes to cleaning products, it should come as little surprise that efficacy tops the list of most important attributes that consumers around the world seek out when selecting household cleaners.
As multinational companies continue to expand into new markets, often providing access to a greater range of products for local consumers, are local companies getting lost in the shuffle? Not necessarily so. In fact, many local companies are thriving.
No matter where you live or who you are, dirt and grime are inescapable facts of life. As such, we all need to clean—and we spend a significant amount of time keeping our homes and clothes clean and fresh.
VOD services are undoubtedly transforming the way audiences consume video, so it’s important to tune in to what’s driving engagement around the world. Our recent online global survey found that while several strong motivating factors will support continued growth, there are a few barriers to be mindful of, too.
VOD is fast becoming a part of daily viewing habits for many around the world, regardless of age. In fact, among the 65% of global respondents who watch any type of VOD programming, more than four-in-10 say they watch at least once a day.
Not long ago, “watching TV” meant sitting in front of the screen in your living room, waiting for a favorite program to come on at a set time. Today, VOD programming options put the viewer in control of what they watch, when they watch and how they watch.
Once we’ve covered our essential living expenses, how do we spend the money left over? Whether we stash our spare cash for retirement, invest it to try and make more, or purchase new products, strategies differ around the world.
What keeps you up at night? There’s probably more than just one thing: From anxieties about rising utility bills to worries about our personal health, to concerns about the well-being of our family, there’s a lot to think about.
What makes a strong corporate reputation? While few brands would argue the need for effective management, quality products and a strong social responsibility platform, many are overlooking one of their greatest assets when it comes to reputation management: their employees.
More than half (55%) of respondents around the world believed they were in recession in the fourth quarter of 2015, a modest increase from the start of that year (53%)—and a level that often exceeds official economic definitions.
Online shopping is growing around the world, but is this affecting how people are shopping in physical stores? Consumers aren’t simply “showrooming”—browsing in store and then going online in search of the lowest-cost option. They’re also “webrooming”—researching online and buying in stores.
Global consumer confidence ended 2015 on a subdued note as the index declined two points from the third quarter to 97. Compared to first-quarter 2015, confidence in the fourth quarter remained flat in Asia-Pacific at 107, while Europe edged up four points to 81. All other regions ended the year less confident than they started.
As connected commerce continues to gain momentum globally, it’s increasingly important that retailers make online shopping as simple as a routine trip to the store, even if they’re browsing from the other side of the globe—and offering the right method of payment is critical.
While connected commerce is still largely a domestic affair, cross-border ecommerce is a growing phenomenon. Shoppers are increasingly looking outside their country’s borders, as more than half of online respondents in the study who made an online purchase in the past six months say they bought from an overseas retailer.
To find out how much attitudes about finances differ by age, we asked Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer and Silent Generation respondents about their saving strategies and debt decisions. It turns out that no matter the age, most of us need sound financial advice.
We asked Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers around the world to tell us how satisfied they are with everything about their jobs. Across a sample of respondents from 60 countries who said they are currently employed, satisfaction levels highlight workplace trends worth paying attention to.
To better understand how younger respondents view the importance of dietary considerations, we asked six Millennials from different parts of the globe to explain how their eating habits differ from those of their parents.
Our outlook on life is often shared with others who have similar traits—and age is no exception. But many of today’s consumers are bucking yesterday’s preconceived generational notions. In fact, many older people are embracing a more technology-driven world, and sizeable numbers of younger people are turning to more traditional values.
U.S. consumer confidence jumped 18 index points in the third quarter of 2015 to a score of 119 after a six-point decline in the previous quarter. The score marked the biggest quarterly increase and the highest index for the country in Nielsen’s 10-year consumer confidence history.
Our perception about personal finances is one factor that contributes to our confidence in the economy, which can impact our willingness to spend and save. Mirroring the rise in global consumer confidence in the third quarter, immediate spending intentions also increased, rising to 43%, up from a low of 30% in 2008 during the Great Recession.
Despite the fact that Millennials are coming of age in one of the most difficult economic climates in the past 100 years, a recent Nielsen global online study found that they continue to be most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings—almost three-out-of-four respondents in the latest findings, up from approximately half in 2014.
Global consumer confidence increased three index points in the third quarter to 99. Optimistic sentiment for job prospects, personal finances and spending intentions increased in nearly half of all measured markets, but uneven growth continues around the world as confidence stabilizes or grows in many advanced economies and declines in many emerging markets.
As concerns about the environment and corporate sustainability continue to build momentum around the world, understanding the connection between sentiment and purchasing actions has never been more important. Have companies risen to meet consumer expectations?
In a world of choice, social responsibility is increasingly a factor for purchasing one product over another. In fact, 66% of respondents say they’re willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
The most credible advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. And it should come as no surprise that more than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.
For both baby food and diaper brands, 70% of global respondents say they have switched brands. Their reasons for switching baby food, however, are somewhat different than their reasons for switching diapers.
When it comes to learning about which diapers are best, 44% of global respondents go direct to the people they know and trust for recommendations, which is the top source of information in every region.
When it comes to keeping babies comfortable and clean, diapers are a top priority for parents—and one for which they spare no expense. In fact, Nielsen estimates diaper sales around the world will exceed $29 billion in 2015.
Becoming a parent can be a daunting endeavor, full of many “firsts.” But before first words and steps, come first foods. So who do new parents turn to most for advice about the best baby food/formula to buy for the first time? While friends and family rank highest, consumers don’t just rely on their circles for guidance.
From the pureed food on spoons to the formula in bottles, you’d be hard pressed to find a parent who didn’t want the best for their baby. And they're willing to spend for it. But for baby care manufacturers, there’s plenty at stake in the battle for baby bucks.
Though global consumer confidence declined one index point in the second quarter of 2015 to a score of 96, the European region increased two points to 79—the highest regional score in five years. In fact, 21 of 32 European markets (65%) were more optimistic than at the start of the year.
The way we view the economy and what’s in our wallets can have a direct impact on our willingness to spend and save. As such, it’s no surprise that changes in consumer confidence can influence the actions consumers say they take to save on household expenses. And as global consumer confidence declined in Q2, saving strategies continued to permeate the mindset of consumers around the world.
Global consumer confidence declined one index point in the second quarter to a score of 96. Regionally, confidence continued to rise in Europe, increasing two points to 79. Confidence held stead in Asia-Pacific, but fell in the three remaining regions.
As the media landscape evolves, so too do the sources consumers use to find out about new products. Globally, shoppers' reliance on earned media is growing while their attention toward some paid media sources are declining.
Globally, more than six-in-10 respondents (63%) say they like when manufacturers offer new products. But while consumers across the globe are enthusiastic about new products, their purchasing patterns vary widely.
Brand building can be costly and time consuming, so the ability to grow via line extensions—the use of an established product brand for a new item in the same category–can be extremely advantageous. In fact, line extensions are approximately three to four times more common than “new manufacturer” and “new brand” launches combined.
When it comes to taking a risk on a new product purchase, why do consumers choose one product over another? What needs and desires drive new product purchasing, and which attributes are most influential in the path to purchase?
Innovation matters. In the consumer product realm, it can drive profitability and growth, and it can help companies succeed—even during tough economic times. On the opposite side of the sales counter, consumers have a strong appetite for innovation, but they’re increasingly demanding and expect more choice than ever before.
There’s very that little pet owners won’t do for their furry friends. In fact pet owners' willingness to open their wallets for them is often unwavering. Even in times of economic strife, worldwide pet food sales have been steadily growing over time, but the pockets of potential in this category are narrower than one might expect.
Despite evidence that the rise of digital shopping has become an influential factor in the changing retail landscape, consumer shopping channel preferences continue to shift. A review of sales trends for select FMCG around the world reveal that when it comes to trade channel importance, there is no single answer that’s right for all.
In Q1, Millennial respondents were more eager to spend—especially those in the 25-29 age range. In fact, their spending intent for holidays/vacations, new clothes and out-of-home entertainment exceeded the global averages by as much 10 percentage points.
Starting the year positively, global consumer confidence saw an increase of one point from fourth-quarter 2014, with an index score of 97. After a slight dip at the end of last year, when all regional confidence scores declined, it was a more upbeat start to the year, as confidence increased slightly or remained stable in every region except Latin America.
For retailers, e-commerce is only one part of the digital picture. A complete digital strategy includes interaction at every point along the path to purchase. Digital touch points occur both in and out of stores, and consumers are increasingly using technology to simplify and improve the process.
Imagine a grocery store where you can receive personal recommendations and offers the moment you step in store, your checkout takes seconds and you can pay for groceries without ever taking out your wallet. Sound far-fetched? It’s closer than you think.
From search engines to social networks, people around the globe mostly use electronic devices for three primary purposes: relationship building/maintaining, information gathering and entertainment viewing. But what does the future use of electronic devices look like, and where are the best opportunities for growth?
What’s your go-to device of choice for watching your favorite show? Device proliferation has afforded more choice than ever before, but TV remains the preferred device—and by a wide margin according to global online respondents in Nielsen’s Digital Landscape Survey.
We’re living in a world of 24/7 connectivity, accessing our content on our own terms, and we like it that way. Around the globe, 76% of respondents in a Nielsen online survey say they enjoy the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime. While consumers love this flexibility, it represents a huge challenge for brands and content providers vying for our attention in a fragmented viewing arena.
What traits lead to a strong corporate reputation? Is it thought leadership? A diverse product line? Innovation? Corporate social responsibility efforts? While many are divided on specifics, most would likely agree that reputation is built on a smattering of all of these, along with a few others as well. The one characteristic that might not be as expected, however, is location.
People who are more informed, engaged and active when it comes to social and business issues around the world are increasingly inquisitive and knowledgeable about the companies they choose to buy from. In fact, there are signs that they’ve never been more interested in the reputation of companies they do business with.
If we know that consumers are engaging more with brands that are going green, producing sustainable products and giving back, do we have insight into which causes resonate the most? And are there discernible preferences between men and women? The short answer is yes.
While global sentiment about personal finances and the costs of living has been trending up for about two years now, men and women aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to what’s in their pockets. Generally speaking, women see a bright side, but men are seeing an even brighter side.
Half of consumers around the world say they’re actively trying to lose weight, and 75% of them plan to achieve that goal by changing their diet. But the road to good health isn’t always paved with good intentions. So do desires materialize where it counts—at the point of sale?
Despite our best intentions to eat healthily, the contents of our shopping carts don’t always align with our objectives. And when we look around the globe, not everyone places health attributes atop their list of important considerations when they shop for food.