The rise in food prices has shifted shopping carts for Brazilians, prompting supermarkets to change portfolios and strategies to keep pace with consumers. Shelves are beginning to highlight cheaper – and often unknown – labels as well as specialty label items. More affordable products went to the upper shelves, at eye level with shoppers, and more expensive products declined or disappeared.
To fit the pockets of customers, Nestlé, for example, has adapted the size of its servings. P&G has already created larger packaging to serve its audience. Carrefour, in turn, invested in its own brands and froze prices. And the chain from Parana, Condor expanded the mix of cheap products and removed wine and chocolate from the shelves, as they did not have a large outlet due to the salty prices.
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A study conducted by consultancy Kantar, exclusively for EXTRA, identifies major changes in shopping carts from 2020 to 2021. Among the changes, it found that in hygiene, beauty and cleaning, switching of the brand is becoming more frequent. The survey revealed that preference for the economic line of deodorants increased, from year to year, by 39%, and bleaches by 29%, for example.
For certain groceries of candy or beverages, the survey found that consumers tend to stick to their preferences. In other cases, such as meat, the method is to replace the food with snacks with cold meat.
The Usage Manager noted that “in the staples that have suffered the most from inflation, such as flour, oil, coffee and beans, the consumer usually balances reducing volume or moving to cheaper brands, but doesn’t stop buying.” In the Kantar Worldpanel section, Aurelia Vicente.
To match this reality, more than 80% of supermarkets in Rio have replaced expensive branded goods with ones that have less weight in the pocket in terms of food, hygiene and cleaning. The data is from the Association of Supermarkets of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Asserj), based on a survey conducted in January of this year.
“Today there is a requirement of three factors pressing the income of Brazilian workers: inflation, unemployment and high debt. All this pressure on the consumer to choose cheaper goods,” said Guilherme Mercês, the entity’s advisor. It has changed and the significance of this in the supermarket dynamics is very great. This is directly reflected in the way the products are presented and the way they are arranged on the shelves.”
Just scroll through a few grids to notice the changes. On a chain shelf in Méier, in the Northern District, the report saw traditional brands of washing powder give way to the foundation’s commercial line, which is cheaper. The same thing happened with some types of cookies. In another group, in Pidade, in the same district of the city, only one brand of refined sugar was available to customers.
Day laborer Socorro Costa, residing in Ingenho Novo, who went to the supermarket last Friday, complained, “I came to buy cleaning supplies. The products I was spending R$50 on, $60 at most, I paid R$100 today.” Exhibition.
Alternatives for housewives
In 58-year-old Marlene Adão’s shopping cart, the traditional brand of washing powder has been replaced with a cheaper brand. Tomatoes and carrots are off the menu due to the higher prices, and meats and vegetables only enter the cart when there are good deals.
“I stopped making a monthly purchase at the beginning of the epidemic. I’m a day laborer, and the cleaning stopped. Now, I watch ads on TV, and where I need them and the price is good, I come to the ‘market’,” said she, who lives in Morro Dona Marta, in Botafogo, with her husband her daughter and grandson.
Kantar’s research confirms Marilyn’s feeling that fewer people are buying and spending more, especially in seasons C, D and E. The Asserj survey also indicated that the most vulnerable residents, who received emergency aid (and now Auxílio Brasil), prioritize food expenses (56.5%). ). But with their income at risk, 11.7% of them need to use the money to pay off their debts.
Another 10.8% buy medicines that are essential items. Of the total number of people interviewed, 88.7% said they started eating more chicken and less beef due to inflation.
“We take less and pay more than twice that. Home shopping was enough for the whole month. They cost R$700, R$800. Today, I pay R$1,300, and R$1,500 for much smaller purchases,” said retiree Leonor. Silva, 85, supports the house with her son-in-law of eight, including children and grandchildren.
Pensioner Maria Ricardina Araujo, 64, prefers not to buy when prices are high:
“Since I live alone, I’d prefer not to substitute brands I like. But if they’re too expensive, I don’t buy them. Last week, for example, I looked for cilantro.”
Betting on the network and the company
At the Super Condor Center, Operations Director, Mauricio Bendixen, says that each gondola is analyzed in order to optimize the use of space:
“We mix and keep producing products. In the pandemic, we brought in more second-line products and gave them more space. Some of the more expensive brands lost space. We even took some items that were very expensive off the shelves.”
According to him, in the case of food, people even exchanged high-precision products, such as rice and coffee. In the cleaning sector, they prioritized the larger packages. Procter & Gamble recognized this movement and in 2020 launched the three-liter version of Downy Fabric Softener.
“Another change we’ve noticed is the search for larger sizes, with reductions per unit or per liter. And that’s evident in nappies,” said Marcus Bauer, senior director of market intelligence and category development at Procter & Gamble.
Carrefour has not only noticed the change in consumer interests but has also seen the growth of its own brand. The high prices of traditional stickers have prompted customers to try their chain line, which contains more than 4,500 items. Sales of these products have grown by 50% in the past two years, and today they account for nearly 20% of the group’s total sales.
But for Alan Hawke, Director of Private Label at Carrefour, the really important thing is the ability to break through previously unimaginable categories, as well as buyback:
“This means the customer has bought it and loved it. Our brand diapers and coffee bags are outselling the market leaders.”
From 2021 to 2020, the consumption basket declined in the following items:
- Commodities (soybean oil, sugar, rice, beans …) – 8.1%
- Hygiene and beauty – 4.1%
- Grocery salt and cleaning – 3.5%
- Perishables and drinks, respectively. -1.2 and 1.3%
The salient points in which the consumer chooses economic categories
- Chlorine Free Bleach – 29%
- Kitchen Cleaner – 27%
- liquid laundry detergent 17%
- Deodorant – 39%
- Make-up – 24%
- razor blades – 15%
Bread and snack categories increased consumption
Spending on pets is also a driver of growth
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