7 Ways CPG Companies Accelerated Growth in 2021

In a recent IRI webinar on consumer packaged goods (CPG) company performance in 2021, senior leaders from three of the category’s top performing companies — Michael Del Pozzo from PepsiCo, Gary Osifchin from Reckitt, and Jostein Solheim from Unilever —  shared their perspectives on leading growth during these uniquely challenging times.

Here are seven key themes that CPG manufacturers should keep at the forefront as they seek out success in the year ahead:

  1. Avoid out-of-stocks

During a time of disrupted supply chains, CPG leaders have strived to avoid out-of-stocks at all costs with a focus on operational effectiveness. Ensuring products are in stock where customers regularly shop goes a long way to helping retain them.

  1. Center on the consumer

Staying agile has become increasingly critical as environments and consumer needs evolve more rapidly. For 2021’s growth leaders, consumer centricity meant delivering personalized experiences, providing self-care solutions, embedding brands in consumer experiences at home, leading with purpose, and building brand trust.

  1. Treat sustainability and social responsibility as performance imperatives

Increasingly, sustainability and a socially driven purpose are driving brand performance. Consumers can often connect with these efforts, which in turn boosts both the relevance of the brand and its bottom-line results.

  1. Create true partnerships with retailers

By forming strong partnerships with retailers, winning manufacturers are forecasting demand, ensuring that their products are available in the right markets and stores, and investing in front-line employees to enable greater product availability and faster delivery across omnichannel.

  1. Increase digital touchpoints

To increase the effectiveness of marketing spend, leading CPG players are optimizing the omnichannel ecosystem on consumers’ path to purchase by personalizing their brand experiences across a variety of digital touchpoints including streaming, social media and the metaverse.

  1. Promote an agile culture

Manufacturers that emphasize the importance of cross-company culture and invest continuously in their people and capacity are able to respond more quickly in a fast-moving, changing environment.

  1. Excel at contingency planning

As the CPG industry continues to see unprecedented levels of disruption, leaders must be able to think on their feet and build backup plans to their backup plans so that disruptions remain minimal and opportunities for growth can be more easily uncovered.

Read IRI and BCG’s full 2021 CPG Growth Leaders study for details on the trends that mattered last year and predictions on the top growth drivers for CPG in 2022.