To understand the latest trends in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space, including in the areas of innovation, technology, startup focus, and where companies are looking to invest.
- In India, health conscious consumers are moving toward eating prepackaged food, but still want that food to healthy, safe, and high-quality. This is driving the trend to create new packaging options that can extend the shelf-life of products and ensure that the nutritive value of the food is not diminished while on the shelf.
- The Luckin Coffee brand in China announced they will be launching unmanned stores to move into the FMCG space by allowing customers to obtain freshly brewed cups of coffee without going to a store location. The unmanned options will operate like vending machines which brings the brand closer to consumers.
- Blockchain is being used in the FMCG space to allow consumers to track their purchases, and to clearly see the production process of the end-product. Additionally, blockchain is helping with logistics and loyalty programs.
- Internet of Things (IoT) is being used both in stores and behind the scenes. In stores, IoT may allow for robots to interact with customers, or provide targeted messaging to consumers while they are shopping. IoT is also being used for inventory management, both in stores and in warehouses.
- Advanced manufacturing in the FMCG space includes using 3D printers to make customized products, using robots in the manufacturing process, and creating 3D printed tools that help with logistics.
- Consumer goods companies are expanding into the direct to consumer space as they look for ways to get products to consumers more quickly.
- A survey of 500 large consumer goods companies worldwide found that 82% said that in the next three years, their biggest investments will be in data and digital customer service.
- The technologies expected to have a large impact on the industry include "1. e-commerce; 2. on-line marketplace; 3. the Internet of Things; 4. voice assistants; 5. artificial intelligence (AI); 6. last-mile delivery; 7. subscription models; and 8. blockchain."
- Proctor & Gamble, one of the leaders in the FMCG space, globally, has made several acquisitions in the past couple of years, including Billie (women's shaving startup), L. (period care startup), and Walker & Company (health and beauty products for people of color).
Proposed next steps:
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As our initial research found that there is plenty of available information on trends in the fast moving consumer goods space, we propose continuing the research to identify 4-6 FMCG trends in the area of innovation. We recommend excluding technology form this report as several examples of that were already found in the initial hour of research. For each trend, we propose describing the trend, explaining why it is considered a trend, and identifying 1-2 companies that are leaning into the trend. If readily available, we also propose including details on what is driving the trend. This will be a global focus. If a different geographical focus is preferred, please specify in the comments.
Additionally, we propose diving deeper into the details on technology trends in the FMCG space. Using some of the tech trends identified in the initial hour of research (e.g. blockchain, IoT, AI, subscription models, etc), we propose giving a more complete explanation for 6-7 of them. For each identified trend, we propose fully describing it, explaining why it is considered a trend, and identifying 1-2 companies that are leaning into the trend. If readily available, we also propose including details on what is driving the trend. This will be a global focus. If a different geographical focus is preferred, please specify in the comments.
Additionally, for 8-10 of the largest FMCG companies (as identified in this source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/top-fast-moving-consumer-goods-brands-returned-to-organic-volume-growth-whilst-posting-record-profitability-in-2018-300881108.html), we propose finding the acquisitions for each company from January 2018 till now. For each company we will provide a list of the acquisitions, a brief description of the business the acquired company is in, and the date of the acquisition. Then for each company, we will provide an analysis if there is a particular area the company seems to be focusing on for acquisitions. This will be a global focus. If a different geographical focus is preferred, please specify in the comments.