Nielsen info: what’s in it for you?

To adequately answer this question, BrainTower conducted a research together with Profacts. The main goal of this research was to get an idea of the impact covid-19 has on sales & marketing consultancy. The study itself was carried out 3 weeks after the lockdown was imposed (in Belgium).

Like many other sectors, consultancy really did take a hit because of the impact of the virus. Even though a part of the assignments was called to a halt, consultants remain positive and use this extra time to gain a better position in the market by for example, following courses. Furthermore, flexibility and quality remain the biggest trumps consultants have.

Nielsen info is quite easy to extract using Nitro or I-sights software, and give valuable information to retailers and FMCG companies. Many marketers, category managers, key accounts, buyers, etc use Nielsen information, but beware of how you interpret the numbers…

The key to a good Nielsen analysis lies in a correct selection and interpretation of the 4 dimensions:


Make sure you know which product total is shown. Are we talking about one single EAN-code? About a variety (diet vs. non-diet)? A brand (Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi)? What is the Category definition (soda water incl. or excl. flavored waters)? Understand the ‘what’ and the benchmark (versus what) before drawing conclusions!


Nielsen uses thirteen 4-week periods… But which period is relevant to your business question? Should we look at the last full calendar year, the most recent 4-weekly period, the Moving Annual Total, the Year-to-Date,…?


In terms of geography, Nielsen defines five regions in Belgium. The relevance of these regions depends on the product and brand. Alternatively, your data can be organized per retailer/ banner or shop type (F0, F1, F2, F3 and hard discount). Make sure to know which market is being used.


By ‘fact’ we mean which numbers are being reported, as not all of them are equally relevant to you. Nielsen reports sales in units, value (€) and volume (kg, l), gives you an idea of the level of distribution (how many shops sell your product), measures shelf space (number of cm your product has in-store), etc.

Nielsen is an important source of information for your category strategy. Need more expertise? Call upon BrainTowers experts to help you out!