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.

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

Local Update (Australia)

June - Part 2

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June - Part 1

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5 May


28 April


April 24

27 April 2020

March 2020

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March 2020

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March 31

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March 19

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Local Update (New Zealand)

1 May

Local Update (Hong Kong)

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Report brought to you by IRI in partnership with BCG

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Global Update

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When There’s No Time to Wait: Get Ahead of the CPG Demand Curve

The phrase “the new normal” has become ubiquitous as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically impact most aspects of our lives, including our shopping and consumption behaviors. While sources vary on exactly who coined the term, what is indisputable is that it first surfaced in 2008-09 as we began to envision life beyond the Great Recession.

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Retail lessons from Italy: What is the ‘new normal’ in the Covid-19 era?

Change sometimes happens so quickly that it is almost impossible to keep up. But no-one could have predicted just how quickly the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic would change the way we live. Everything from the way we work to the way we shop has been turned on its head and we...

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Be brave. In difficult times, your consumers need you

The most common question I’ve been asked by brands in the past two weeks is: “Should we continue to invest in advertising during the coronavirus outbreak, when so many people are isolated?” Just this week, Marketing Week’s own figures show that many marketers are delaying thei...

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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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