If you watch television, use the internet, or go to a supermarket, you’ve probably noticed certain trends that are impacting the production, marketing, and sales of fast-moving consumer goods, or FMCGs for short. Here are some of the big FMCG trends, as well as challenges, for 2021 that we’re watching:
FMCG trend 1: Consumers are looking for convenience
As consumers and their families live busier lifestyles, they are demanding more convenience, especially when it comes to getting meals. There has been a proliferation of services specializing in restaurant delivery, like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Deliveroo, and others, such as Blue Apron in the USA and Les Commis in France, that distribute meal kits with recipes and ingredients to consumers’ front doors’. Supermarkets are also upping their game by offering a large selection of ready-to-go meal options, from pre-cut fruit-vegetable-nut packs to three-course dinners. FMCG makers are responding to the desire for convenience in different ways. For example, some are improving on the frozen “TV dinners” and microwavable dishes of yesteryear by launching a wider variety of easy-to-prepare meals that are fresher and better-tasting than their predecessors. At the same time, there is a growing selection of new food and drink products that are conveniently packaged, all-in-one meal replacements such as Vega bars and Soylent drink powder.
FMCG trend 2: Health is an important consumer preference
Seemingly healthier low-sodium, reduced fat, and sugar-free products have been available for decades. However, other options that used to be found only in specialty health food stores have made their way into “normal” supermarkets as consumers want food and beverages that they believe will so less harm or actively improve their health, day-to-day performance, and general well-being. Products such as plant-based protein milk alternatives (like soy or almond drinks), lab-grown “cultured meat,” and alcohol-free “mocktails” are gaining wider acceptance and availability. Allergen-free products are also becoming more popular amongst those who don’t have allergies. For example, whereas in the past products such as gluten-free baked goods and beers appealed almost exclusively to those suffering from celiac disease, consumers who don’t suffer from a gluten allergy are gradually adopting these due to the perceived health benefits of a gluten-free diet.
FMCG trend 3: Consumers are environmentally aware
Consumers are becoming more conscious of the negative impact of FMCG production and its byproducts. Products labeled as “organic” and “local” have broadening appeal as does the adoption of more plant-based foods. Consumers who still choose meat, dairy, poultry, fish, etc. can also choose products that are “antibiotic-free,” “grass-fed,” “free range,” etc. And it’s not just the product itself, but how the product is packaged that will impact consumer choices as more and more consumers opt for plastic-free solutions. Messaging around sustainable improvements will help consumers make choices that are ethical ones that positively impact animal welfare, sustainability, and the environment as well as their individual health.
FMCG trend 4: Consumers want an experience
FMCG makers have become aware that consumers – especially Millennials and those from Generation Z – are interested in experiences more than actual products. Therefore, industry players are looking to create experiences around their products and encourage sharing among consumers by investing in digital capabilities to enable more personalized communication via social media and community management.
Furthermore, FMCG makers are launching more products that grab the attention of consumers, such as Coca-Cola cans with names on them, or snacks with more extreme flavors, such as hot and spicy Doritos Blaze. These products encourage consumers to share their experiences online and generate conversations with their peers to create better return on investments in marketing, not to mention a treasure trove of data to further accelerate and inform marketing efforts.
FMCG trend 5: Leveraging technology
Technology is a trend that has been around for a while, and will stick around for a while whilst constantly transforming and evolving. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever for consumers to be at the cutting edge of this technology as it evolves. From VR, AI, and AR, there are many avenues FMCG brands can take to stay ahead of the game.
Smartphones are now an extension to reality, and so brands need to find new ways to reach customers, enhance their experience, encourage engagement and offer up exciting products and ideas that align with their values. The use of data can help a brand to understand how their customers interact with them at present, and how they can utilise consumer insights to work in their favour.
Stay ahead of the trends in FMCG
StratX works with commercial, marketing, and sales teams from top companies around the world in FMCGs and other industries to develop their capabilities and prepare them for the challenges in 2021 and beyond. To know more about how StratX can support your organization, contact Yann Cartier at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in our contact form.