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RangeMe retail trend report: Consumers embracing change amid supply chain pressures

Health-conscious purchasing impacts nearly every market, from skin care to pet food, according to the report.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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While 2022 began with the pandemic primarily at bay, new challenges emerged that again limited retail buyers of consumer-packaged goods, according to RangeMe's Quarterly Retail Trend Report.

Online retail product discovery and purchasing platform RangeMe analyzes 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.

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.

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Continuing the health trend, searches for organic skin care have seen an increase along with an increase in CBD-related products in the United States in particular. The usual searches for sun protection products like sunscreen make the list again in the summer.

On RangeMe alone, more than 1,130 brands are selling over 2,000 sunscreen products. Whether consumers are 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.

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 prioritize health. 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.

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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 aluminum shortage.

“We’re not going to sugarcoat 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.”

In Q2, as in Q1 of this year, there was 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.

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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, the company said.

When it comes to paying for these products, the study found that 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 that are transparent about their efforts and moving in the right direction when it comes to sustainability.