3 Trends Influencing CPG Marketing in 2021

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Mar 16, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Making a purchase online with a credit card.

The consumer-packaged goods (CPG) business category has experienced some unprecedented shifts in the way people engage with brands.

Hold on to your packaging, however. We’re not done yet. Upheavals in the global consumer and supply chain markets in 2020 tied to the COVID pandemic created unprecedented changes in CPG marketing that continue to have an impact into 2022 and beyond.

From mobile-first to multicultural and personalized branding to the explosion of e-commerce, the challenges of CPG marketing will likely continue.

This article takes a close look at where the CPG industry is now and three CPG marketing trends that could heavily influence the future of the space.

CPG Marketing – 2022 Trends to Watch

Trend #1 Digital-First

No analysis of CPG marketing in 2022 could fail to note the changes technology has spawned.  Smartphones are the primary tools for making purchases, and online e-commerce sales topped $4.8 trillion in 2021. (Note: For 2023 it will be $6.5 trillion). Sales from the CPG category will account for nearly $721.8 billion of projected figures. Building mobile-first digital strategies will be crucial to achieving sales goals. 

The impact of digital communications on CPG branding, from social media to consumer review platforms, will influence every type of marketing. These channels allow direct engagement with consumers, often in real-time. Social media can be a powerful way to listen to a consumer base, and companies can quickly shift their CPG marketing efforts to respond to market trends.

Consumers continue to research and browse online before shopping either in-store or via e-commerce. This year, that trend will likely accelerate. Digital technology has hugely disrupted the traditional consumer shopping experience. Don’t expect this to change after a year of leveraging and enjoying the convenience of this channel during the pandemic.

Food delivery app on a phone. 
Trends also show CPG marketing shifting towards a personalized shopping experience that makes use of machine learning and predictive algorithms to cater to customer preferences. These technologies will likely continue influencing CPG branding strategies beyond 2022.

It’s not just the abilities and algorithms found in high tech that will influence the approach. It’s also the customers themselves that are changing.

Trend #2 Customer Demographics

Future shoppers will likely be multicultural. According to Pew Research, the U.S. Hispanic population is now a record-breaking 62.1 million. The percentage of Latinos as part of the overall U.S. population jumped 23% over the last decade. This outpaces the overall growth rate of 7%. By 2023, most children in the U.S. will be nonwhite, and a large percentage of this demographic is value conscious.

Trend #3 Consumer Life Stages

The flip side of this demographic coin is that the world’s population is aging quickly. The number of people aged 65 or older will potentially double to one billion globally in the next two decades. The shift from baby boomers to millennials was inevitable. In 2016, boomers were usurped by a more youthful audience, as millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. IRI suggests the dollar share of CPG for millennials will increase from 17% in 2018 to 29% next year. 40% of the millennial market is also likely to be multicultural. 

Aligning CPG Marketing Strategy for 2022

It’s going to be hard for brands that don't adapt their digital platforms to the mobile-first mentality. CPG marketing must drive increasing convenience because consumers are demanding it. Brick and mortar stores should support these trends by boosting e-commerce and supporting home delivery. 

Keeping CPG marketing relevant is the rallying cry for brands in 2022. One-size-fits-all no longer works. Our marketing efforts must continue to evolve at a digital pace to keep up with technology. CPG branding teams may have their hands full in 2022.

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Topics CPG Trends

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