Over the past decade or so, as multinational organisations tackled challenges such as increasing competition, financial crises, and slow growth in developed markets, many increasingly looked to emerging regions such as Asia as a source of growth. Nowhere was this trend more evident than the FMCG sector.
Today, the Southeast Asian landscape has changed significantly since that time. Expanding access to education, increasing awareness of the power of branding, and rising wealth has given way to a slew of home-grown FMCG brands, the ‘local giants’, who are today going toe-to-toe with the big multinationals.
Empowered by low running costs, well-established networks, an intimate understanding of local needs and tastes, and the ability to move swiftly, local players have become a force to be reckoned with, and have irreversibly re-shaped Asia’s FMCG sector.
The local giants of today are suddenly becoming the regional and global multinationals of tomorrow as they eye new markets beyond their borders and around the world. Their rapid success can be attributed to a handful of key factors – consumer preference for local brands, ability to leverage both modern and traditional trade retail channels, understanding of local market nuances and tastes, and locally-driven price tiers.
It’s a win for consumers who have never before been as informed, empowered and ready to embrace brands that understand their lifestyle requirements and needs. Companies – be they global, regional or local – must ensure their brands deliver on their value proposition and fulfil a critical role in consumers’ daily lives if they are to succeed in today’s jungle of choice.