Nielsen IQ Interview
Staying Ahead of Changes in the CPG Industry, with NielsenIQ

Staying Ahead of Changes in the CPG Industry, with NielsenIQ

Tell us a bit about your role at NielsenIQ

Prochi Ginwalla: I lead global client business relationships for Asia, my team and I work with our senior-level clients on their business priorities in the region.

Pavan Kunder: I am the NielsenIQ Partner Network lead for Asia and also the Retail Measurement Product Leader for the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar

For those who don’t know, could you describe what has made NielsenIQ such an integral resource for CPG companies globally?

Prochi: NielsenIQ is the leader in providing the most complete, unbiased view of consumer behaviour, globally. Powered by a ground-breaking consumer data platform and fueled by rich analytic capabilities, NielsenIQ enables bold, confident decision-making for the world’s leading consumer goods companies and retailers. Using comprehensive data sets and measuring all transactions equally, NielsenIQ gives clients a forward-looking view into consumer behaviour in order to optimize performance across all retail platforms. Our open philosophy on data integration enables the most influential consumer data sets on the planet. NielsenIQ delivers the complete truth.

The CPG industry has been evolving at a rapid pace over the last few years. What are some of the key trends/requirements/challenges your clients have been talking about?

Prochi: Our clients are continually looking for ways to understand the evolving consumer needs & channel preferences. The pandemic has generated unique shifts in the dynamics of retail trade, affordability paradigms & consumption habits.

Some of our work shows that the top 10% of stores in high-density postal codes have decreased in importance as city centres are less busy with the shift to working from home, resulting in a changed offline retail landscape. At the same time, COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce adoption, with Asia now accounting for over 50% of world e-commerce sales!

Hence, understanding new & emerging channels & the evolution of existing ones to inform the online & offline retail strategy is a key focus area for our clients.

Pavan: In addition, our clients would like to increase width & depth of measurement – width in terms of coverage of more geographies & channels; depth with the granularity of reporting and analyses to find pockets of growth. Understandably, with rapid change, the challenge for our clients is to stay ahead of these trends. They constantly seek ways to enable data-driven decisions every day across all functions. To this end, technology & analytics strategies are geared towards always-on, seamless & integrated insights capabilities.

How should forward-thinking companies be thinking about the ‘next normal’?

Prochi: The surging pandemic continues to define the next normal – as companies look to reset & reinvent, they need to build comprehensive strategies that address multiple aspects :

Catering to modified consumption needs & balancing affordability & loyalty. Our studies show us that there are two types of consumers emerging as the pandemic developed, ones not affected financially known as “insulated consumers” & ones affected adversely known as “constrained consumers”. Naturally, the constrained consumers tend to make fewer trips & stock up on larger pack sizes. Keeping the polarised segments in mind, companies will need to think about serving both ends of the spectrum whether volume-based promotions for the constrained ones or relevant premium offers & in-home experiences for the insulated ones.

Trade is fragmenting, digitising rapidly & there are new rules for reaching consumers with the rise of Omnichannel & D2C. Omnichannel shopping is becoming a future norm and therefore, understanding how consumers use online whether for research or actual purchase to then create seamless offline-online environments to keep shoppers loyal will be critical to find growth. The significance of convenience & the rise of proximity retailing saw retail sales diffuse to suburban & other geographic locations. Companies should identify their new “golden stores” – that account for 80% of sales & plan distribution & sales strategies accordingly.

Due to shifting preferences, there is also an opportunity to reassess & reset promotions & pricing to drive incremental sales. Strategies should include designing the right promotional mechanics by categories & channels to enable loyalty & revenue generation.

For CPG, what regions are positioned for growth heading into 2022 and why?

Pavan: 60% of the world’s population is in Asia, with the fastest rising middle classes, CPG growth has been strong over the past few decades. CPG spending is linked to consumer circumstances & now more than ever, the growth outlook will depend on consumer confidence based on the pandemic response by country.

Asia as a region is back in growth but it differs by country.  Some markets & categories may take until late 2022 or even 2023 to come back to pre-Covid-19 levels. There are pockets of growth to be found if the new ways consumers are shopping are catered to – 85% of consumers in Asia have become more cost-conscious but will still trade up for nutrition/care benefits for loved ones be it children, parents, or pets. Packaged food wins in the homebody economy but there is also significant sustained growth across alcohol & over the counter/health-related categories like vitamins. E-commerce & traditional trade continue to grow hence the availability of the right assortment by channel is key. We also see growth across small & medium-sized brands as local giants win through innovative products, availability, attractive pricing & social commerce.

Have their expectations from NielsenIQ – in terms of data requirements or consulting – changed over time? How so?

Pavan: A lot of it is still the same as clients want Share, Distribution, performance reads etc. NielsenIQ continues to be the ‘source of truth’. Clients want more forward-looking and predictive insights, total consumer read across all channels, near real-time, transactional level analytics, deeper insights, and integration across various data sources.

What are the key challenges you see with regular adoption of/value realization from NielsenIQ’s data and consulting? How do you typically address those challenges?

Prochi: NielsenIQ’s data and consulting are very relevant and in fact, the value is increasing as clients need sources of truth, unbiased, independent reports, and an industry-wide currency.

Pavan: Clients expect us to bring all our capabilities together in an integrated NielsenIQ approach and use technology to deliver actionable insights faster to them. The NielsenIQ ‘Essentials’ and ‘Connect Express’ platforms are some of the ways where we have deployed technology to meet these growing client needs.  Another way is to bring in trusted partners to work together. The NielsenIQ Partner Network is a case in point.

Tell us about the NielsenIQ Partner Network and how you’re helping clients make data-driven decisions with partners like Crux Intelligence.

Pavan: Founded on the concept of an open ecosystem that uses NielsenIQ data as connective tissue, the Network enables clients to expand solutions, heighten insights. It provides clients access to a fully vetted arsenal of innovative companies covering a broad scope of focus areas such as demand planning, data harmonization, and AI-driven analytics.

Crux Intelligence is a very natural fit into this ecosystem as it addresses the very critical needs of speed to insights and integration of insights across data sources for clients.

And finally, what’s next for NielsenIQ? What levers will you be pushing to deepen your relationships and value delivery for clients?

Pavan: Key priorities for us are digital transformation of methods and processes, platform consolidation across countries and finding innovative solutions to address the measurement needs of our clients.

Prochi: Continuing to engage with our clients as trusted partners & collaborating on the future of measurement to best meet their business needs & enable their growth plans. Recognized as the world’s prevailing data authority for nearly 100 years, NielsenIQ will move forward with an unwavering mission to deliver the complete truth and provide solutions-oriented around client needs. NielsenIQ will honour its legacy while embracing the evolution of its business and the disruption of the consumer packaged goods industry, to provide the most complete and unbiased view of the consumer.

Crux Intelligence is part of the NielsenIQ Partner Network. Our partnership makes it easy to import NielsenIQ data into our AI-powered business intelligence platform, enabling us to couple their unbiased and complete market data with client first-party data, giving brand and category leaders, access to holistic insights faster and more easily than ever before, enabling confident and bold decision-making.

Alternative Text Crux Intelligence
Crux Intelligence is an enterprise-level AI platform that helps diagnose, predict, and prescribe what will happen in your business.