While 2022 started with the pandemic primarily behind us, new challenges have emerged that again challenge retail buyers of consumer-packaged goods. Supply chain issues were the focus of Q2, along with the emergence of inflationary pressures. Health and healthier food categories sit beside convenience foods on the most searched lists in Q2, along with an unsurprising second quarter of top searches for pet food, CBD, and the seasonal re-emergence of sun protection and cooling.
Online retail product discovery and purchasing platform RangeMe analyses user data from more than 15,000 retail buyers and around 200,000 suppliers to help report the latest trends. Results from its Retail Roundup: Q2 2022 report show that buyers are taking trends seriously and are planning ahead, having learned from supply chain issues and forthcoming inflation costs.
Much Love for Mushroom
Searches in Q2 imply that consumer health trends are being heard by retailers. “Mushroom” was one of the top searches in Q2 as it’s not only a tasty product used in increasing amounts of plant-based products, but mushrooms offer many health benefits as consumers continue to prioritise health.
If you search mushroom on RangeMe, you’ll find everything from multivitamins and powders to energy drinks and coffee. These versatile fungi are rich in vitamin D and B, and offer an abundance of health benefits such as decreasing the risk of cancer, stimulating a healthier gut, and supporting a healthy immune system. The demand for mushroom health benefits is heavily impacting the global mushroom market size, which was valued at $50.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase 9.7% by 2030.
The plant-based industry continues to take off as consumers prioritise personal and planetary health. U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods grew 6.2% in 2021, which is three times faster than total food retail sales last year, bringing the total plant-based market value to an all-time high of 7.4 billion.
Across the U.S. and Europe other healthier food alternatives made the list, including retail buyer searches for salad dressing, pickles, okra, and dried chickpeas.
An increase in pet ownership over the course of the pandemic has led to growing demand for quality pet food and products, which is why “Cat Food” has made it on the top searches list. The lack of ingredients, packaging materials, and supply chain transportation issues, all led to a cat food shortage that impacted cat owners and the retailers they buy from in Q2. Wet cat food, especially, was difficult to find due to an aluminium shortage.
On top of this pet owners are passing on their own trends to their furry friends as this trend stretches into health and wellness, supplements, premium food and sustainability. For example, in the U.K. in particular “Dog Cookies” have made the most searched list as pet parents are looking to treat their beloved four-legged, family members, and retailers are looking to stock their shelves with such.
Continuing the health trend, searches for “Organic Skincare” have seen an increase along with an increase in “CBD” related products in the U.S. in particular. As we see the return of summer the usual searches for sun protection products like “Sunscreen” make the list again. On RangeMe alone, there are more than 1,130 brands selling more than 2,000 sunscreen products. Whether you’re looking for a zinc-based, reef-safe spray, dermatologist-tested lotion, or tinted powder, the selection of SPF products is endless. There are even a few options for our furry friends.
Increasing global awareness of the damaging effects sun can have on skin when left unprotected means consumers have become more knowledgeable about preventing skin cancer and excess wrinkles by applying SPF and limiting their time in the sun. They’re now searching for everyday products such as lotion and makeup that have SPF as an ingredient so expect to see this category make another appearance next quarter.
“We’re not going to sugar coat it, 2022 has been another whirlwind of a year for the consumer packaged goods industry. Ongoing supply chain issues and rising inflation costs have kept suppliers and retail buyers on their toes, said Nicky Jackson, CEO of RangeMe. “This is why it’s more important than ever to stay on top of emerging trends happening within the industry, to better equip your business for success through current circumstances, and we’re happy we can provide insights to help.”
What is perhaps more exciting to see again in Q2, as in Q1 of this year, is the continued interest in and increased search for diverse, minority, and LGBTQ certified businesses as well as the most popular buyer Collection this quarter, sustainability.
Retailers left and right are implementing sustainability initiatives and declaring war on plastic and harmful ingredients by banning them from their stores completely. And on the brand side, sustainable products are beating their less eco-friendly competitors onto retail shelves time and time again. This is due to the increasing consumer demand (from Millenials and Gen Z especially) for clean products as they turn to value-driven purchasing, brought on by the pandemic and inflation. Gen Z may be leading the sustainability conversation, but studies show consumers across all generations have no problem paying more for sustainable options.
More than 90% of Gen X consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, up 42% from 2019. Above all, consumers are giving their trust (and money) to retailers who are transparent about their efforts and moving in the right direction when it comes to sustainability.
RangeMe is the global industry standard tool for retail product discovery, sourcing, and purchasing. Suppliers can showcase their range, bring new products to market, increase brand visibility, and grow sales, while buyers use RangeMe to discover new products, search trends, purchase directly from the platform and communicate directly with brands.