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Survey: Consumer confidence rising across all age groups

BY Ryan Chavis

CHICAGO — Consumer confidence increased dramatically in first quarter 2014, according to a recent MarketPulse survey from IRI. All age groups are reporting a more positive outlook — especially millennials. A distressed consumer segment since the economic downturn began, this age group is showing the greatest rise in confidence.

“The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership at IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.”

The survey also touched on shopping strategies: consumers continue to remain comfortable with shopping patterns they adopted during the downturn. Seventy percent of consumers make a shopping list before they even step foot inside a store, and 75% make their purchasing decisions before entering. IRI noted that these figures haven’t shifted since 2011.

Since 19% of all consumers (and 26% of millennials) have trouble affording groceries, shoppers are still on the lookout for a good deal. Thirty-three percent of all consumers and 40% of millennials buy more than one-half of their goods "on deal."

How are they getting the deals? It should come as no surprise that consumers are flocking to the internet to scope things out:

  • Twenty-nine percent download coupons from retailers’ websites;
  • Twenty-nine percent download coupons from a manufacturer’s website;
  • Twenty-five percent of consumers research products on website;
  • Ninteen percent go to online deal sites like Groupon and SmartSource; and
  • Eleven percent head over to social media platforms like Twitter to get coupons.

“While it’s great that sentiment is on the rise, marketers must stay on top of their game and continue to deliver solid value that enables consumers to live well while remaining conservative,” Viamari said. “The diversity of this quarter’s survey results clearly demonstrates there is no single path to recovery, and marketing strategies must recognize and reward the variability out in the marketplace.”

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H-E-B ranks highly in customer forgiveness

BY Ryan Chavis

WABAN, Mass. — H-E-B shared the top spot with USAA in the 2014 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. Currently in its fourth year of publication, the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings examines forgiveness levels for 268 companies across 19 industries.

"Forgiveness is an asset that companies earn from their customers," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group. "Every company makes mistakes, but the ones with high forgiveness ratings have customers who will work with them to more quickly and positively resolve the issues."

The study of 10,000 U.S. consumers showed that the industries with the highest average ratings are grocery chains, retailers, parcel deilvery services and auto dealers, with TV service providers and internet service providers being rated significantly lower than other industries.

Other top companies included Amazon, BMW, chick-fil-A, Apple, QVC, Costco, Lexus, Trader Joe’s, Fujitsu and Publix. The 2014 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, along with other ratings, can be found at TemkinRatings.com

 

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Endo announces acquisition of Somar

BY Ryan Chavis

DUBLIN — Endo International on Tuesday announced that it will acquire Somar, a privately-owned specialty pharmaceuticals company based in Mexico City, Mexico.

"The acquisition of Somar is well-aligned with our goal of pursuing accretive acquisitions that enhance Endo’s strategic positioning and diversifying our pharmaceutical business beyond the [United States] by accessing attractive emerging markets" said Rajiv De Silva, president and CEO of Endo. "The transaction provides Endo with a strong growth platform in Mexico that we believe can be further leveraged more broadly in Latin America, a proven sales team, and scalable manufacturing facilities. This acquisition allows us to fully benefit from the starting point that Paladin Labs established in Mexico. We look forward to leveraging Endo’s global resources to take full advantage of Somar’s robust pipeline, which currently includes [more than] 60 products expected to launch over the next 3 years."

Somar’s portfolio targets Mexico’s non-patented pharmaceutical market through three segments: generics, branded generics and OTC. The company generated approximately $100 million of revenue in 2013, and has 1,200 employees. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, which include the receipt of antitrust/competition approvals. The deal is expected to close in third quarter 2014.

 

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