Circana (NPD): US Market Tracks Closely to 2022 Into March

In News by Porter Anderson

The consumer research company formerly known as NPD has become ‘Circana’ – and spots a political book on a fast rise in the US.

A gazebo in Dexter, Michigan for the kind of event in which politicians may tout their books. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Montgom

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Another day, another corporate identity.

The result of the merger in August of IRI and NPD on Tuesday (March 7) produced a new “combined company name and brand identity,” Circana, complete with black-and-purple livery and what we’re told is “insight into 30 million products across 26 industries, more than 2,000 categories, and 500,000 stores.”

Kristen McLean fortunately continues as executive director and industry analyst in Circana Books and entertainment. “Over the next few weeks,” she tells the news media today (March 13), “you’ll see all of our communications, presentations, and deliverables convert over to our new look. I’m pretty excited about what we can do with all of this, but don’t worry.

“Even though you will now see a new name and logo, we’re still the same team, delivering you all the great insights and services you have come to expect from us.

Kristen McLean

“As my kid says, ‘Same candy bar, different wrapper.'”

And with that, McLean reports that the United States’ print-book market going into March—the week ending March 4—”has been tracking very close to the 2022 numbers for the last three weeks.

“This week finished down to the same week last year,” she writes, “by just 125,000 units on a weekly volume of 14.1 million units. The market rose 709,000 units this week as is usual in the first week of March, which is Seuss Week, a national literacy event in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

“Not surprisingly, juvenile fiction was a major driver, but the No. 1 title was an adult nonfiction book, [Florida governor] Ron DeSantis’ The Courage to be Free, signaling that a new political science cycle is upon us.”

Image: Circana Bookscan, week ending February 18, 2023, US print sales only

Gov. Ron DeSantis Takes on Colleen Hoover

While Colleen Hoover usually has run largely unopposed at the very upper reaches of the States’ bestseller charts from NPD—now Circana—the book released from HarperCollins by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has supplanted the Hooverian dominance in the No. 1 spot, at least for the moment.

For our international readers who may not be aware of DeSantis (44), he is considered to be the most potent probable challenger to Donald Trump for a Republican Party presidential primary race ahead of the 2024 elections. Trump has announced that he intends to run for the Republican nomination. DeSantis has not formally announced that he will oppose Trump for the nomination.

However, a memoir is frequently released by a politician who intends to make a national-level run in the United States, not least because the book’s publication provides a chance for a would-be candidate to introduce her- or himself to voters and test potential campaign slogans while making a book tour.

In terms of the near-Hoovrerian performance of Dr. Seuss books on the chart, this, as McLean has pointed out, is the result of an annual “Seuss Week” program promoted by the Seuss Estate around the March 2 birthday anniversary of the late author and cartoonist Theodore Seuss Geisel (1904-1991).

Image: Circana Bookscan, week ending February 18, 2023, US print sales only

More from Publishing Perspectives on industry statistics is here, more on the NPD Group’s work is here, more on the work of Kristen McLean is here, more on political books is here, and more on the United States book industry is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.