Bloomberg Surveillance host Francine Lacqua interviewed Centricity CEO Mike Brackett on Monday, asking him how Centricity’s data is able to predict consumer trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brackett said that it’s been drastically more difficult to predict consumer trends this year during the pandemic than the same time period last year, simply because there are so many new variables at play.
“If you look at what last year’s buying trends were… to decide what this year’s shopping trends are going to be—which is what you traditionally do—we’ve seen that consumer patterns have changed, cooking habits have changed, and really entire new generations have entered the cooking market,” Mike said.
“We’re certainly seeing that it’s increasingly difficult to forecast that, on top of the supply chain and out-of-stock issues that we’ve already seen.”
When asked to forecast the potential effect on Retail and CPG companies in the wake of a potential vaccine, Mike said that Centricity expects consumers to go back to normal shopping trends eventually
“What’s really interesting is that even as lockdowns have eased up, we’ve still seen a lot of that demand retain on the retail food side,” he said. “So I think if you’re a retail or consumer goods company, this has been the best trial you could have ever asked for to get people into your business.
“They’re going to do everything that they can to retain that, but you’re also going to have, on the other side of that, restaurants doing everything that they can to ease people back in. One of the more interesting logistical things that has come out of this is companies like Instacart or even these large institutional, multinational retailers have really been forced to invest in last-mile delivery services. The east of accessibility to be able to shop online from a grocery store is more accessible now than it ever has been.”