(Story updated with expert analysis from brand and communications research firm)
Procter & Gamble Company
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- How Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Get Report) Will Benefit From the Bed-Bug Epidemic: During the recent recession, 70% of consumers surveyed by marketing research company Kelton Research said that they were making purchases differently compared with just a few months ago. The recession caused them to break their habits and affected their so-called brand loyalty. The bed bug out break could be, like the recession, another consumer-behavior-changing event that brings opportunities to large consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble.
"Something like this bed bug epidemic can really disrupt and change people's behavior," said Kelton Research analyst Tom Bernthal -- and he means that to the benefit of P&G. Bernthal explained that Procter & Gamble can easily continue to sell to current customers, but new customers can be more expensive to acquire. A disruption to consumers' behavior due to events such as the bed-bug epidemic could send customers to areas of the aisle that they've never looked at before to meet new needs and lead to more revenue for P&G.
Bernthal said the marketing and communications departments at companies such as P&G have been on overtime looking at how their products fit in with the bed-bug epidemic.P&G's Profile: P&G provides branded consumers packaged goods to more than 180 countries worldwide through mass merchandisers, grocery stores, membership club stores, drug stores and neighborhood stores. The laundry category constituted about 17% of the company's net sales for fiscal years 2010, 2009 and 2008. The diaper category constituted about 11% of net sales for fiscal years 2010 and 2009 and 10% in 2008. P&G's product segments comes in different prices: super-premium, premium, mid-tier value and low-tier economy products.