Do You Have A ‘2020’ Vision?

In five years time, a sea change is bound to occur in the way consumers conduct business. Will you be ready?
people shopping

Where did all the consumers go?

They are branching out significantly, witness their hard-to-gauge multi-channel shopping habits. Factor in the role of e-commerce and that conversation becomes more compound and complex.

But consumers are also moving in another context—literally. Consumer mobility in all its forms served as an instructive underlying theme for Nielsen’s December webinar titled “What’s In Store: 2016 and Beyond.”

James Russo, senior vice president of global consumer insights for Nielsen, made several key trend projections that convenience retailers might want to make note of—next year and over the next five years.

Not only are retailers tasked with offering the right product mix, but they must also pause and ask if their local-market expansion strategies are in sync with individual relocation trends. When it comes to millennials, for example, “where they live now won’t be where they live in 2020,” Russo said.

Do c-store operations with a regional multistate footprint understand the population shift that’s poised to take shape? After all, only 25% of millennials expect to live in the same area in five years.

The top six of the 20 fastest growing metro areas are Memphis, Tenn., Tampa, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Milwaukee, St. Louis and Baltimore. The metro areas not on the list include Atlanta, Boston, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., according to Nielsen.  

The top 20 Designated Market Areas (DMAs) are not the East or West coasts but the center of the country. The top DMAs include Minot, N.D., followed by Austin, Texas, and three other Texas metro areas, Denver, Wyoming, Montana, Rapid City, S.D., Fargo, N.D., Raleigh, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Challenges … or Opportunities?

Russo cited at least two factors for consumer packaged goods companies and retailers to monitor for 2016 and approaching 2020. Do you understand the impact that the “tech titans” (think Amazon) have on the retail landscape? And will you be able to capitalize on the “reimagining” of food by 2020, where “the age of customization will hit a higher level and delivery will be vastly different?” said Russo.

Five instructive key points include:  

  • Reimaging meal times: Meal times will be under pressure and time spent preparing meals will decline. Eating habits will become more flexible;
  • New cooking methods yield new opportunities: This will manifest with induction, solar, hot vending, in-car consumption and foodservice;
  • Exotic protein: Reinventing breakfast and unique convenience are all concepts coming on strong;
  • Food as medicine: Forget the next flavor or texture—how about the functional benefits of food?
  • Food-at-home vs. food-away-from-home trends: For the first time since 1992 food-away-from-home is poised to surpass food-at home store sales.