Even During this Challenging Time Canadian Consumers are Interested in New Products

How society responds to the COVID-19 epidemic is creating a great deal of uncertainty. Many organizations are following a ‘wait-and-see’ strategy across numerous aspects of their business. However that doesn’t appear to have extended to new product launches, which continue to move ahead.

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It turns out that now might in fact be a great time to launch new products – at least in categories where shoppers are still very active, such as most of CPG. The reasons are simple: more shoppers are looking for new products, and attitudes towards private label products are souring a bit.

These are among some of the insights from our latest BrandSpark® Canadian Shopper Study (BCSS) tracker, where we continually assess how shopper attitudes are changing in relation to our annual BrandSpark Shopper study – particularly during this challenging time.

What we learned was that not only are more shoppers indicating that they really like trying new products (+5% versus the last Shopper Study), there was a similar percentage increase in those actively looking for products that are new and different. And even if social distancing protocols continue for some time, this change might sustain itself or even increase as shoppers look for something to mix things up a bit.

At the same time, we’re seeing indications of shoppers souring just a bit on perceptions of private label products – which have been on the ascent for many years. This included an 8% uptick in those that prefer buying brand name products on sale over private label, and the idea that private label products are as good as branded ones may be on the decline.

That is a lot of positive news for CPG brand marketers – and an indication that new product launches can find very receptive audiences. However, the optimal launch tactics and how to communicate might be different than they were when the products were being developed and tested, particularly in light of the rapid shift to online shopping.  How to quickly establish your product online is another new dynamic that has to be factored into launching new products successfully. These are areas we’ll be exploring in future articles, but feel free to contact us at info@brandspark.com if you’d like to learn more from our ongoing trackers, or need help launching your new products.

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