After a chaotic 2020, grocery industry players are focused on keeping products available on the physical shelf and leveraging new opportunities on the digital shelf, according to a new survey by SMARTeam, Advantage Sales’ consumer goods insights team.

While product manufacturers and retailers hold differing perspectives on likely sales strength this year following unprecedented at-home consumption in 2020, they share a common view of supply chain and out-of-stock challenges.

According to results of a February 2021 survey of grocery manufacturers and retailers by Advantage Sales:

  • Retailers and manufacturers have different outlooks on 2021 dollar sales growth.
  • Nearly half of manufacturers plan to increase prices.
  • Both manufacturers and retailers are concerned about the impact of production limitations and insufficient labor on the supply chain.
  • Nearly half of retailers plan to decrease assortment.
  • As more grocery sales are made online, most retailers name “improving fulfillment options” as a top e-commerce priority, while manufacturers say “digital marketing” will be their No. 1 e-commerce focus.
  • Nearly one-fourth of manufacturers say they’ll likely increase trade funds this year, while more than half say they’ll likely increase marketing funds, with an emphasis on digital initiatives.

“Outlook 2021: Grocery Manufacturers and Retailers” is a look at the grocery industry’s priorities and spending plans for the year and their implications.

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