CPG and Retail Insights to Manage the Impact of COVID-19

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on business across the globe, including CPG and retail. IRI is closely tracking developments in our industry using our data sources (point-of-sale, loyalty, panel, e-commerce and social media) to help our clients understand the resulting changes in consumer and shopper behavior across categories, brands, channels and retailers in the areas affected by the virus. Our goal is to help companies successfully manage real-time supply/demand chain issues and determine how to best handle promotions, out-of-stocks, pricing and assortment to meet the changing needs of consumers.

This page is updated regularly with the latest data and insights from IRI. If you have specific questions related to your business, please reach out to your IRI representative or contact marketing@IRIworldwide.com.au.

IRI is regularly publishing reports to provide an overview on what's happening across key markets and guidance for CPG manufacturers and retailers to support consumers during the crisis.

Local Update

March 2020

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March 31, 2020

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March 19, 2020

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IRI Reports on Impact of COVID-19 for CPG and Retail

Report brought to you by IRI in partnership with BCG

April 2, 2020
March 26, 2020
March 19, 2020

Global Update

April 3, 2020
March 25, 2020
March 12, 2020
March 6, 2020

Observations and Implications


Consumers are focused on boosting their immunity to fight COVID-19. Vitamins, supplements, probiotics and other immune-boosting products will be in demand. Preventive health care products, such as vitamin C, are trending higher than symptomatic products.


While pasta has benefited from panic purchases, anecdotal evidence shows lasagna sheets remain on the shelf, as more labor-intensive meals may not be on the menu.

Convenient meals will be in demand.

In-home food and beverage will increase significantly, resulting in both increased consumption and pantry stocking. Out-of-home food consumption will take a hit as travel comes to a halt and people work at home more.


Work-from-home and restricted socializing can result in consumers using fewer cosmetics and haircare products.

Household cleaning products are experiencing increased purchase patterns. Manufacturers can expect product sales to taper significantly as it will take time for consumers to use abundance of products recently purchased.


Food delivery, click and collect, online shopping and home delivery will increase as consumers avoid going to areas where there are large gatherings.

Click and collect and home delivery must be every retailer’s business priority, as long-term shopper behavior could change.

Cocoon-stocking will reflect household makeup, with indulgent items, such as DVDs, confections, salty snacks and alcohol sales increasing; however, spring holiday shopping may take a hit.


Out of stocks are likely across high-demand categories; manufacturers will focus on production of top SKUs to meet demand; expect fewer options but satisfactory supply levels of most in-demand products.

Stockable items continue to be very popular with consumers (besides obvious ones like sanitizing wipes), e.g., shelf-stable and frozen food items, sports drinks, water, toilet paper, etc.


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