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Study finds big bets on Hispanic, high-growth channels, collaboration are common among dominant CPG companies

Winning CPG companies outperform their peers in four key areas.

August 28, 2012

Consumer packaged goods companies winning in their categories are three times more likely to invest in growth channels and the Hispanic market, 50% more likely to use pricing optimization tools, five times more likely to view retailer collaboration as a strategic priority, and invest twice as much time in talent development.

These are some of the findings from "Winning Where it Matters: A Focused Approach to Capturing Growth, "a collaboration between the Grocery Manufacturers Association, (GMA), McKinsey & Company and Nielsen. The information in this article was reported in a press release from the GMA.

“Best-practice sales strategy continues to include heavy investment in emerging channels, an emphasis on customer collaboration and a focus on investing in next-generation capabilities.”

The 2012 Customer and Management Channel Survey was released today at the GMA Executive Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. Nearly 220 CPG executives from more than 50 companies participated in the 2012 survey. These companies represent many of the biggest brands in the food, beverage, personal/home-care categories and almost $160 billion in US sales. Among the companies with dairy foods are ConAgra, General Mills, LaLa, Kraft, Land O Lakes, nestle, Unilever and WhiteWave. Download the 20-page report here.

Since 1978, the report has provided regular updates on the practices of top-performing CPG companies, but unlike other market surveys, the findings link com­pany financial performance and in-market results with self-reported business practices to identify winning approaches.

Overall, the report found that winning CPG companies outperform their peers in four key areas: bold investment in growth areas; advanced use of analytics to fine-tune pricing and promotion; prioritization of retailer relationships; and commitment to talent development and strategic planning efforts.

GMA Customer and Management Channel Survey COVER“Best-practice sales strategy continues to include heavy investment in emerging channels, an emphasis on customer collaboration and a focus on investing in next-generation capabilities,” said Brian Lynch, Senior Director, Business and Industry Development, GMA. “Specifically, focus on dollar, club and online channels, joint retailer-manufacturer initiatives and time spent nurturing high-potential sales talent all received high marks as particularly effective by survey participants.”

A new element to the 2012 survey is the “battle at the shelf” analysis. As consumers make more product and brand purchase decisions in-store, shelf performance becomes an area where CPG companies can gain market share. Often, performance hinges on how well companies manage assortment optimization. Many CPG companies reported challenges striking the right balance in their assortment optimization efforts.
 

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