The COVID-19 pandemic is a defining event for consumer packaged goods brands. It not only cracked the CPG world into “before” and “after,” it also unraveled the symbiotic nature of brands’ commercial and consumer businesses. Business segments reeled as away-from-home revenue dropped.
In mid-March, consumer spending on CPG goods rose 35%. It has remained at elevated levels ever since, with September sales up 14% compared to a year ago — a data point flush with potential. And yet, enthusiasm is tempered by other business realities. Brands are more cautious, making tough strategic decisions to balance competing business needs.