The U.S. market has been tough recently on many of the big consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, after many years during which the leading players typically fared quite well. The advantage the leaders historically derived from their scale and scope is no longer what it once was, and sales growth of the top 25 companies as a group between 2006 and 2011 was less than half that of the nation’s top retailers.
This sales growth gap is equivalent to about $18 billion in “lost” gross profit, and represents a differential likely to persist if CPG companies can’t regain forward momentum in the U.S. market. This, plus the fact that companies won’t be able to rely on overall market growth as a driver of individual performance over the next three to five years, puts a bright spotlight on the need for successful category expansion and share gains.
As is often the case, a number of companies stood out from the pack, bucking the low sales growth trend. In looking at the performance of these stand-outs, Nielsen and The Boston Consulting Group uncovered five key strategies that drove their success:
Together, these strategies offer a roadmap for CPG companies to compete and grow in the current market.