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What are Consumer Staples?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Consumer staples are products that are understood to be regularly purchased by the largest majority of consumers. In some cases, a staple is a product considered to be a necessity, such as basic food items. A product that is not a necessity but is commonly purchased by the vast majority of consumers is often also considered a staple item.

The range of consumer staples is very broad. Food certainly qualifies as one of the consumer products that is a staple in most homes. Along with food, personal hygiene products are among the most common products sold in the market today. Just about every consumer will purchase a staple such as soap, deodorant, and toothpaste as part of the inventory of items that are maintained in the household reserves.

Along with hygiene and food products, consumer staples also include household maintenance products, such as cleansers for then kitchen and bath areas. Laundry detergent and dishwashing products are other examples of some of the most common consumer products within this category. Just about everyone washes clothing and dishes, as well as cleaning and freshening the home from time to time.

Other examples of consumer staples may appeal to a slightly smaller range of consumers, but are considered desirable items that are consumed on a regular basis. Tobacco products, vitamin supplements, and various types of beverages command a great deal of consumer attention and are commonly found in many homes across the world.

The main identifying factor of consumer staples is the consistency of demand for the products among consumers. Often products that are intended to last only a short time, staples tend to be items that must be purchased repeatedly in order to keep up with the level of consumption among buyers of the products. Generally, consumer staples will be available in a wide range of brands, sizes, and types, providing the average consumer with many options on how to satisfy the particular desire for products of this nature.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By sunshine31 — On Aug 08, 2010

Suntan12- That's a really good explanation. I wanted to add that many companies study consumer buying behavior to determine which products consumers prefer and why.

After conducting extensive market research studies many companies develop consumer advertising to target their ideal market segment.

Think about children's programming and the types of commercials that are usually run during these programs. Many are cereal and toy commercials. These advertisements are vibrant with bold colors to attract the attention of the child.

The advertisements almost always have children either enjoying a cereal or playing with a toy. This often creates an instant demand among children. And this the reaction that companies are seeking.

By suntan12 — On Aug 08, 2010

Anon261196- I don't have a list of consumer goods, but I can say that the writer did a great job in explaining what they are.

It is really any product that is essential. For example, in an Asian community rice and vegetables are considered staples.

This means that these foods are very important to most Asians diets. A staple in an American diet might be red meat and potatoes for example.

But staple goods don't always have to be food items. They can also be paper towels, toilet paper, and window cleaner for example.

Think of a staple good as something that you really can't live without. That is probably the best way to understand what a staple good is.

By anon26196 — On Feb 10, 2009

Can I get a list of all the products that qualify as Consumer Staples?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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