Nielsen info: what’s in it for you?

Nielsen data are 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!

Fig 1: Know how “product” was defined.


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,…?

Fig 2: Three full years of data, split into 4-weekly totals.


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.

Fig 3: The five Nielsen regions (N-W, N-E, Brussels, S-W, S-E)


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!


  Tous les articles