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Apr 24, 2020

Nielsen Covid-19 Barometer: Portuguese prepare quarantined Easter

Quarantined Easter

  •  20% growth in Large Assets Consumption in week 14
  • The impact of Easter is reflected in butcher's sales, even in quarantine season
  • Huge boost from the online channel, which grows 200% on purchase occasions
  • Weight gain of Private Brand and drop in Sales with Promotion
  • Gain importance in the proximity channels from the moment the Portuguese stay at home
  • Different dynamics in other Western European countries

In the week when the barrier of 10.000 confirmed cases of infection with Covid-19 in Portugal is broken, consumption is largely influenced by the preparation for the Easter celebration. The fifth edition of the Nielsen weekly barometer on the impact of the pandemic records, for week 14 (March 30 to April 5, 2020), sales in the order of 187,5 million euros, a growth of 20% compared to the period homologous.


“The evolution of sales in the FMCG categories shows that the Portuguese who remain in quarantine have been trying to ensure well-being and care for themselves, most likely to try to experience this new reality in the best possible way.

In this sense, the concern with Personal Hygiene products is more visible, namely Depilation (+ 31%) and Hair Products (+ 20%), which are included in the ranking of highest growth in Personal Hygiene and Home. At the same time, the products that remain at the top of the growths in Fruits and Vegetables show a concern with the defense of the immune system: example of Orange (+ 115%), Lemon (+ 98%), Tangerine / Clementine (+ 71%) and Kiwi (+ 33%).

Quarantined Easter

The values ​​for food retail sales this week 14 - the week before Easter - show that, despite the restrictions imposed on circulation in the national territory, the Portuguese made plans to sit at the table in their homes to celebrate this central time on the calendar religious and family life ”, points out Marta Teotónio Pereira, Client Consultant Senior at Nielsen.

Contributed to the gain registered in the analyzed period, the Easter calendar contributes, which this year is celebrated earlier: on April 12 this year, when in 2019 it was marked 21. Despite the current quarantine context, this week before Easter, growth (+ 15%) compared to the previous week, something that is in line with the usual dynamics for this time of the year.

Even in the atypical situation we are experiencing, the impact of Easter is notorious on Talho's sales, which grow 18%, with emphasis on sheep and goat meat (+ 85%), traditionally found at this time at the table of Portuguese families.

 The increase in consumption is also visible in the online context, with a huge boost to be felt in E-commerce. In week 14, the number of online shopping occasions grows 200% and increases 192% in new homes.


Own brand in countercycling with promotion

Looking at the evolution of the most recent weeks, we found that the Private Brand gains weight from week 11, when the Portuguese were preparing their pantry to “face” their stay at home. If, since the beginning of the year, and in a reality still pre-Covid-19, Private Brand growth was at 30,8%, after the start of the pandemic it is now at 32,8%.

The promotional trend, on the other hand, appears with an inverse trend and has suffered a break since the effects of the pandemic on the national market began. If in the pre-Covid-19 period the average value of sales in Promotion was very close to 50% and in the first week of registration of the virus in Portugal it even reached 51,2%, this week 14 the phenomenon of breaking is already fully perceptible, dropping to 32,5%.

The growing weight of proximity

The search for proximity solutions stands out as of week 12, the date on which the State of Emergency is declared in Portugal and families start to stay at home due to the closure of schools.

Livres-Serviços stores for the first time in this period surpassed the percentage barrier of 15% of sales in value in the set of sales registered at national level in all types of stores.


Dynamics differ in the European context

It is evident that, even in the European context that is closest geographically, the dynamics of consumption are distinct, reflecting different impacts of and responses to Covid-19.

If in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France sales peaked at week 11, with smaller increases compared to the same period after that date, the situation in the United Kingdom shows a peak in consumption at week 12 and decreases compared to 2019 in both following weeks. A distinction that may show a parallel with a later reaction to this pandemic.



About Nielsen:

 Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global data measurement and analysis company that provides the most complete and reliable insight into consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the truth indicator about media markets, provides the media and advertising sectors with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the sector required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer goods brands and retailers with accurate and practical information and insights and a complete view of the complex and changing market that companies need to innovate and grow.

Our approach combines original data from Nielsen and other sources of information to help customers globally understand what is happening in the present, what is going to happen in the future and how to act on this knowledge.

A S&P 500 company, Nielsen is present in more than 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world population. For additional information, visit https://www.nielsen.com/pt/pt/.


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