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    2024 March Madness Insights for Strategic Wins in CPG Brands

    Apr 4, 2024 | Kendra Bandy CPG

    There’ve been enough upsets in this year’s March Madness season for any fan to start to lose faith, but hold on — we’ve got some shopper stats that you can count on. 

    March Madness provides a golden opportunity for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands to elevate their game in the retail arena. 

    In collaboration with Kantar, a global data, insights, and consulting powerhouse, we’re revealing consumer behaviors and spending patterns during March Madness 2024. The insights, distilled into two comprehensive reports focused on categorical and retailer insights, offer a roadmap for CPG brands to connect more deeply with their audience.

    You can download the reports through Kantar's interactive platform.

    The Consumer's Playbook: Insights into Shopping Behaviors

    One of the standout revelations from the research is the consumer's inclination towards snacks and non-alcoholic beverages—a trend that underscores the evolving palate of the March Madness audience. This shift towards non-alcoholic options, in particular, suggests a broader appeal that could influence CPG brands to rethink their product assortments and marketing strategies to cater to a more diverse consumer base.

    Furthermore, the data highlights a pronounced preference for in-store shopping experiences during the tournament season. It’s critical to perfect in-store displays and promotions tailored to the March Madness theme, which can significantly enhance the shopping experience and influence purchase decisions.

    Category Deep Dive: Snacks and Beverages

    The snacks and beverages categories, perennial favorites during March Madness, have shown interesting trends in consumer behavior. The research indicates a marked preference for snacks that offer both convenience and quality, pointing towards an opportunity for CPG brands to innovate in product offerings that meet these criteria.

    In the realm of beverages, the surprising tilt towards non-alcoholic options opens up a new arena for CPG brands to explore. This could mean expanding offerings in premium soft drinks, flavored waters, and other non-alcoholic beverages that can complement the March Madness viewing experience.

    Pricing Strategies and Promotions: The Competitive Edge

    Pricing and promotional strategies play a pivotal role in influencing consumer choices during March Madness. The data reveals a strong consumer response to discounted pricing and BOGO offers, underscoring the effectiveness of these promotions in driving sales and encouraging trial of new products. 

    For CPG brands, this insight is invaluable for planning March Madness campaigns that not only attract attention but also convert interest into sales.

    Three Strategic Takeaways for Sales and Retail Professionals

    Understanding the nuanced preferences of the March Madness shopper can inform product assortments, promotional tactics, and in-store experiences that resonate with the target audience. Furthermore, the data underscores the importance of agility in response to emerging trends, such as the preference for non-alcoholic beverages, enabling brands to stay ahead in a competitive landscape.

    1. Themed product displays and specialty items designed for the tournament can significantly elevate the shopping experience, making it more memorable and likely to influence repeat visits and purchases.

    2. Cross-promoting products to compliment others can drive sales through March Madness. Build a strategic campaign to capture those shoppers and don’t hesitate to leverage product pages to cater to those watching parties.

    3. Strategically design in-store displays and promotions tailored to the March Madness theme, enhancing the shopping experience and influence purchase decisions — with 55% of shoppers indicate they are somewhat likely or very likely to purchase themed or specialty products specifically designed for March Madness


    March Madness season is more than just a sporting event, it's a strategic opportunity for CPG brands to score big with consumers. 

    By leveraging the detailed insights provided by Field Agent and Kantar, brands can craft targeted strategies that resonate with consumers, driving sales and building brand loyalty in the process.


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