Winners up their pack sizes

Posted by Oliver Koll on Jun 22, 2018

This blog aims to add more nuance to our understanding of pack size changes. We investigate how pack size changes are linked to a product’s price level (cheap vs. premium) and to market share changes (winners vs. losers).

  • Market share winners between 2012 and 2016 have increased their average pack size offered by 1%. This increase in pack size is more pronounced for share winners in Asia (+ 3%) and the US (+2%). Particularly in petfood, share winners put more content into their average pack size on offer (+5%).
  • When it comes to sizes chosen for share winners, shoppers prefer larger packs: The average pack size purchased of the top 15% share winners has increased by 4% while the top 15% share losers on average offer similar pack sizes in 2012 and 2016. Again, Asian consumers and consumers with pets are particularly likely to choose larger packs from share winners.
  • Brands with premium-priced products (price at least 1.75 times the category price) have decreased their average pack size (-1%). This trend is more pronounced for premium products in beverage (-2%), food (-2%) and household care (-3%). Cheap brands (price below the category price) have kept their average pack size unchanged.
  • Shopper choice regarding pack sizes for premium brands does not follow their downsizing strategy – the average size chosen remained unchanged. For the average cheap brand the chose size has increased (+2%).

Our analysis shows that reducing pack-size does not pay off in terms of market share gains and shopping behaviour. Market share winners are more likely brands that maintain or increase pack size – which consumers seem to interpret as better value. Note that we only focus on the average pack size offered and chosen – the analysis is not arguing that adding additional pack sizes that are smaller never makes sense.

*Analysis includes 25 countries, 86 categories and 13,991 products.