According to a recent article in The Grocer, the FMCG industry is finally recovering and focusing on exciting consumers with real innovation after five years of disruption due to the pandemic, high levels of inflation and ongoing supply chain issues. Warren Ackerman, head of consumer staples research at Barclays, shares that as prices normalize, the ability to deliver volume growth will distinguish successful FMCG companies.

The article, “From inflation to innovation: the tide is turning for FMCG,” talks about how consumers, particularly in the United States, are financially stretched right now—making them pickier. Private labels are thriving where brand pricing is high, so genuine innovation is crucial to capture attention. We talk more about trends regarding private labels in our blog, “Exploring Private Label Popularity Amid Inflationary Pressures.”

The Crucial Role of Consumer Insights in the Evolving FMCG Market 2

Ackerman goes on to talk about how falling food inflation and energy costs offer hope, but FMCG companies must actively drive volume growth. But driving volume growth must be done in a smart way. Promotions and scattered innovation can harm long-term value. Targeted, bold innovation with smart media strategies is better. 

Another challenge pointed out in The Grocer article is that the food industry sector of the FMCG marketplace faces additional challenges like “increasing concerns about ultra-processed foods, worries about the impact from GLP-1 drugs, or endless reams of regulation.” But Ackerman notes that there are significant growth opportunities for food brands focusing on lower-calorie, higher-value products—and for plant-based foods, high protein products, and products that promote gut health. 

As the FMCG industry evolves and adapts to market trends, companies require deep insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and shifting attitudes towards their products. These insights inform product development, pricing, and promotional strategies, enabling brands to stay attuned to the broader market dynamics.  

One of the ways to get these insights is through AMC Global’s ResponseCash® PFU™ (Purchaser Follow-Up) program which provides FMCG companies with insights right when launching new products. By connecting with the earliest purchasers of new products, qualitative and quantitative insights are captured within the first few days of launch. These insights enable FMCG brands to understand whether changes are needed to optimize the product, package or marketing communication strategy. And these insights can be wrapped up into a retail sell-in story that can be used to expand the launch—and call on key accounts.

The article closes by noting: “One thing is for sure: consumer desire for ‘newness’ and experimentation hasn’t gone away. Those companies that can get ahead of where the consumer is going will be in good shape.” 

However, companies need to be smart about the way they bring new products to market. Many may rush to market with new products in order to stay ahead of or to keep up with the competition, and skip the important traditional before-market consumer testing. By using a Test & Learn environment instead of traditional research, FMCG companies can quickly get their new innovations on store shelves. While it’s important to monitor sales, during this period it is also critical to understand things such as who is buying, how these purchasers learned of the new product, how they perceive the product and packaging after usage, repurchase intent, as well as actual repurchase behavior. These are the kinds of insights a ResponseCash PFU program can capture!

For more information on how to stay ahead of the trends in FMCG, please contact us: