CPG brands test DTC strategies

Recently, some brands are shifting to direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies, which are turning out to be a boon for brands and consumers alike, especially as both entities navigate new challenges precipitated by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The following brands are now taking brick-and-mortar vendors out of the equation, creating DTC e-commerce destinations to get their products onto the doorsteps and into the hands of consumers who might be less inclined to frequent a physical store.


PepsiCo is now offering direct-to-consumer channels for its products via two new websites. PantryShop.com offers bundles of pantry kit items, such as oatmeal, cereal, snacks, and protein bars, that can be ordered in bulk at an affordable price. Snacks.com, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay DTC site, offers consumers their favorite salty munchies, which can be bundled in customizable snack packs and sent straight to their door. PepsiCo was smart to cut out the middleman (in this case, brick-and-mortar vendors) so that consumers could nab PepsiCo's offerings without needing to leave their houses.


Kraft-Heinz launched its own direct-to-consumer channel, Heinz to Home, to facilitate easier access to its products to quarantined consumers throughout the UK, as well as to specifically assist frontline workers who now have even less time and inclination to buy groceries from brick-and-mortar stores. Heinz offers three bundles on this website: The Essentials Bundle (containing classic Heinz products like Heinz Beanz), The Sauces Bundle (offering a variety of Heinz condiments), and the Baby Bundle (a package of the brand’s best selling baby food). In addition to the bundles, Heinz to Home has a recipe section where customers can find meal inspo crafted specifically around these bundled offerings.


Anheuser-Busch InBev is embracing a direct-to-consumer model in the face of the pandemic. Despite a sizable revenue loss precipitated by the start of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the brand has seen fast growth in its DTC business within markets that include China and Latin America. To wit, Zé Delivery, AB InBev’s Brazil-based delivery service, received more orders in April 2020 than in all of 2019 combined. Recent consumer prioritization of e-commerce-based shopping is quickly increasing AB InBev’s direct-to-consumer sales, which net around $1 billion annually. AB InBev has also made changes to its drinks packaging in response to increased DTC orders, making it more efficient to both sell and ship bulk orders.