Although inflation is driving strong FMCG values, we are now seeing weakness in volumes for the first time in Western Europe since the pandemic.
more than half of the product categories are in decline vs Q1 2019.
FMCG values are growing significantly but only due to inflation
On average for Q1 23 in the big 6 countries of Western Europe, FMCG values were 9% ahead of last year and 23% above pre-Covid 2019. But Food price inflation has been 17% vs last year and 26% vs 2019 accounting for more than the increase in value.
For the first time since the pandemic, FMCG volumes have dropped below ‘normal’ levels
In Q1 23, FMCG volumes by country were all down compared with last year and, apart from Italy and France, are also below the 2019 pre-covid levels. For France and Italy, the comparisons are with market declines in 2019, helping to explain the variance.
Cutting down on FMCG buying is not related to inflation by category
Except where inflation is very high, such as Cooking Oils, category level inflation is not driving specific purchasing choices – it is more an ‘overall’ basket decision. There are some examples of ‘down-trading’ by category such as fresh or chilled to frozen but these are not universal.