In the first quarter of 2017 we saw nearly $3 billion in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales seemingly disappear. While sales rebounded in the second quarter, the industry faces seismic, long-term shifts that will reverberate in 2018 and beyond. What many marketers may find most difficult in the year ahead is that the strategies that got them through this year won’t garner the same success tomorrow—the playbook has changed.
Polarization in everything from channels and trip types to value perceptions and health and wellness accelerated in 2017 and serves as a predictor of trends and opportunities in 2018. Departments where e-commerce has the highest penetration, such as household care (9% of total spending, with sales growth of 24%), should be a beacon for FMCG manufacturers as they try to find their niche with consumers in an omnichannel world.
These and other trends are poised to continue shaping the U.S. FMCG industry in 2018. Companies that harness these trends, rather than maintain their current strategies, can gain an edge when consumption across traditional channels has been moderate.