BUT SPENDING GROWTH SLOWER: Holidays usher in FMCG sales recovery

    Pre-pandemic shopping at Divisoria (Photo from PNA)

    Christmas shopping is ushering in the first stage of recovery of sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the Philippines, findings of a Kantar survey on 3,000 Filipino households showed

    But Marie-Anne Lezoraine, general manager of the Worldpanel Division at Kantar Philippines, in a virtual briefing yesterday said the increase in holiday spending will be lower than the 20 -percent growth typically observed in the past years.

    Despite the easing of quarantines, Filipinos will shop less often and will do so with smaller budgets.

    “While Filipinos want to save, they still want to celebrate Christmas but differently, and this is very much dependent on the state of mobility and the number of COVID (new coronavirus disease 2019) cases in the runup to Christmas,” Lezoraine said.

    Filipinos are likely to adopt their usual Christmas repertoire in their shopping in food like all-purpose cream, canned fruits, pasta, mayonnaise, and cheese which have been resilient during the pandemic as more Filipinos cook at home. Non-food FMCG which are popular during Christmas like liquid soap, colognes, lotion, and cosmetics can be gift ideas as Kantar studies showed 57 percent of Filipino households receive FMCG items as Christmas presents.

    “Food is still high on the priority list … over beverages, home care, and personal care,” Lezoraine said.

    Interesting findings showed that for the first nine months of the year, the higher socio-economic classes (ABC1) spent more (7 percent) as they hiked spending on food (20 percent) while those in C2, D, and E all cut back on their expenses by 9 percent, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

    Supermarkets registered an almost 28 percent value share in year-to-date September 2020, while grocery stores (6.7 percent) and hypermarkets (5.9 percent) also gained traction due to their one-stop shop advantage.

    “Despite the slight decline in spend share from 39 percent in 2019 to 38.1 percent in 2020, Filipino shoppers frequented sari-sari stores four times a week proving that these small stores still attract a wide range of consumers and continue to be the top retail channel to reach the D and E sectors,” Lezoraine said.

    But Kantar noted compared with other countries in the region, electronic commerce penetration in the Philippines remains nascent.

    Still, the pandemic attracted 700,000 new customers online.