Health, nutrition and new markets key to success

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Consumer packaged goods Nutrition

Focusing on health, nutrition, and emerging markets are amongst the top strategies being used by the most successful global food companies, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

The report, entitled “Top Global Food and Beverage Companies: Strategies for Success”​ examined the approaches of eight leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers for tackling the challenges they face now and in the future to remain competitive.

The eight companies examined were Nestle, Kellogg, Anheuser-Busch, Wrigley, Kraft, Heinz, Danone and Coca-Cola.

Shifting market focus

Worsening economic conditions have led to consumers tightening purse strings in developed economies, but there are opportunities for manufacturers in growing economies like China, India and Russia, where there is now a higher share of consumer expenditure on food and beverage, the report said. It also cited Deloitte’s Food and Beverage 2012 study looking at key issues driving the industry forward, which said: “37 per cent of executives cite this as a key issue driving the industry forward.

“…Rising disposable income in high-growth economies offers major potential for CPG companies.​”

Added health benefits

Perhaps surprisingly, the economy was not the number one concern expressed by food and beverage manufacturers for the future, but rather “the pressure to deliver healthier and more nutritional foods.”​ This was felt by 79 per cent of executives, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the trend towards healthier products is at least partly driven by better-informed consumers.

It said: “Consumers are more empowered than ever; they have greater freedom of choice and higher expectations from brands to meet specific needs. Dealing with a more needy customer is a vital part of the process in the CPG industry.”

Marketing strategy

In addition, one of the most powerful tools used by the elite eight companies is what the report called ‘multi-tiered brand value’, which it described as delivering “different combinations of tangible benefits – taste, convenience, health and nutrition, sustainability with intangible benefits, brand design and appeal – in one package.”

These are then marketed on a global scale but, crucially, are also specifically tailored in the way they are presented to local markets. Nestle, which manages over 8,000 brands is report highlighted – along with Coca-Cola – as a company which operates particularly well as a ‘glocal’ business.​It has “strong global potential in addition to numerous regional and local level brands,”​ the report said.

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