Consumers are looking for premium brands and premium brands are the most successful worldwide. Premium products grew by 21% in Southeast Asia, by 23% in China between 2012 and 2014 and 26% in the USA from Apr 2015 to Apr 2016 across the home care and personal care categories, (Nielsen, 2016a). Different factors helped the growth of premium products:
- Economic growth of middle class: Middle class is massively growing especially across emerging countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc) and by 2030 (Reuters, 2012) will almost count 5 billion people worldwide (two times the current middle class population). This will encourage people to access a many different products and to expand their shopping basket with highest probability to trade up for premium products.
- Urbanization: many people will move from the countryside or rural areas to cities and towns (from the current 2 billion to 5 billion by 2030, Nielsen, 2016b) gaining access to more services who will help to raise the premium products consumption. For instance, even more people will access Internet to be informed and buy and even more people will access convenience store or specialised stores to purchase premium products.
- Digitalization: At the beginning of 2017 more than half the global population uses a smartphone, almost two-thirds has a mobile phone, more than half of all mobile connections are now ‘broadband’ and arond 20% of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days (We Are Social, 2017) Thanks to this data and thinking about the massive digital future growth more and more consumers will be affected by the effects of the omnichannel. The combination of different and many touchpoints any time and anywhere will make information more accessible and, as a result, many consumers more influenced by advertising, educational information, promotions, etc.
- Wider offer available (private labels and brands). If in the past only manufacturers offered premium brands in last 10 years we saw a new phenomenon showing how even retailers could launch premium labels on the market moving from aggressive promotion and discounting to better and higher quality in their offer (especialy on food and beverage).On top, we can also talk about the rising of local brands and smaller countries which, although a different impact depending on the countries and regions, massively contribute to increase the percentage of premium products on the market.
1. What are consumers looking for?
According to Nielsen (2016a) many reasons encourage consumers to buy premium products. Results are different across different countries, regions and consumers generations:
- Overall there is no always a correlation between highest incomes and premium products purchase rate. Indeed, the study (Nielsen, 2016a) shows how in many countries and regions a better salary doesn’t always influence the attitude to spend more.
- Price is not the only attribute consumers link to premium products. Only 31% of global respondents declared to think about a premium product when the price is high. On the other hand quality and performance are considered a plus. Quality and performances change depending on the product category we are talking about. For food quality is made by the ingredients used to make that product, while for a home care product by the effectiveness of a formulation. Other factors are the design or the brand name. The bottle design for a detergent or the brand awareness might be decisive to encourage consumers to purchase a product in a certain category regardless the quality and the performance. Even sustainable attributes are relevant especially among the youngest generations (Millennials and Generation Z).
- Social aspirations and status are important: many respondents, especially in emerging countries, declared that buying premium products increases their self-esteem, feel them better or more confident about themselves as individual or as members of social groups.
2. Private Labels vs brands: what’s the status?
The relevant growth of the premium fmcg products on shelf has been also facilitated by the launch of premium private labels. From the report (Nielsen, 2014) we can see how Europe, North America and Oceania, are the main region wolrdwide in terms of private labels presence. In Italy (Il Sole 24 Ore, 2016) premium and bio private labels products generated €1.32 billion (13.2% of the total private label segment value of the market in Sept 2016, respectively + 14% and +16.1%, vs Sept 2015). On the other hand low cost private labels lost share (-22% in value vs Sept 2015) only representing 2.6% of the total private label segment.
Figure 1: Premium Private Labels products in Italy, branded “Top Esselunga”
Local retailers massively invested in brand management and innovations in recent years building a high brand equity across different categories, with the main goal of creating store loyalty and getting better trade terms conditions vs manufacturers. However, there are categories (such as personal care) showing highest and similar value share across different regions around the world.
For brands the premium fmcg path is almost mandatory. Brands should continue to raise investments in brand management through marketing investments in communication and innovations, to better communicate the uniqueness of their value proposition and make their brand equity stronger. In order to do so, heavily marketing research investments looking for new and unmet needs among consumers are required to get the right consumer insights.
However perception of brands vs private labels even for premium products changes depending on the region and on the country. In Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania, there is a high qualitative perception of private labels, considered as key SKUs able to drive brand differentiation and store loyalty. On the other hand the situation is completely different in Africa, Asia and Middle East, where consumers show the highest willingness to pay premium prices for brands. Most of the respondents still consider buying private labels too risky.
3. Management Implications
- Only some products can be upgraded (Nielsen, 2016a): Personal Care is the main category across many regions showing highest differentation and innovations rate vs other products categories. Regardless this trend, differences and opportunities across categories are different depending on the country and on the region. Premium perceptions are not the same worldwide for all products and categories.
Figure 2: Premium’s Value share per Category across different global regions (Nielsen, 2016a)
- Think global act local: Differences are relevant depending on the market and the region we are taking into account. This implies how even marketing strategy should be locally adapted to support the launch of a premium product on the long-term, depending on the market area to be served.
- Focus on digital and optimize your in-store visibility: In order to get highest results and makes the product successful an excellent quality, distribution or price are not enough. Firms and professionals need to find the right communication. Depending on products peculiarities firms need to find a balance between touchpoints showing highest awareness and trials (typically TVCs and high store visibility) and touchpoints showing a high degree of persuasion (e.g. digital). In many cases both brands and private labels are still struggling to achieve these goals.
Il Sole 24 Ore (2016), Private Label, la corsa è premium, December, http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/impresa-e-territori/2016-12-09/private-label-e-corsa-premium-110740.shtml?uuid=ADFrDIGC
Nielsen (2016a), Moving on Up, December
Nielsen (2016b), The Dirt on Cleaning, April
Nielsen (2014), The State Of Private Label Around The World, November
Reuters (2012), The Swelling Middle, http://www.reuters.com/middle-class-infographic
We Are Social (2017), Digital in 2017: Global Overview
Danone and Nestlé Waters, the world’s two largest bottled water companies, have joined forces with Origin Materials, a startup based in Sacramento, California, to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Together, the three partners aim to develop and launch at commercial scale a PET plastic bottle made from bio-based material (i.e. 100% sustainable and renewable resources). The project uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption. The technology represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the Alliance aims to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry.
Teaming up to accelerate development of 100% bio-based bottles
For decades, both Nestlé Waters and Danone have been committed to sustainable business practices, notably by continuously improving their environmental performances and promoting the development of a circular economy. A large part of these efforts has focused on developing innovative packaging solutions that are recyclable and made with renewable resources, as well as the promotion of recycling. After identifying the unique approach of Origin Materials separately, the two companies decided to team up to accelerate development of this promising technology.
“Our goal is to establish a circular economy for packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics,” declared Frederic Jouin, head of R&D for plastic materials at Danone. “We believe it’s possible to replace traditional fossil materials with bio-based packaging materials. By teaming up and bringing together our complementary expertise and resources, the Alliance can move faster in developing 100% renewable and recyclable PET plastic at commercial scale.”
Danone and Nestlé Waters are providing expertise and teams, as well as financial support, to help Origin Materials make this technology available to the entire food and beverage industry in record time.
This next-generation PET will be as light in weight, transparent, recyclable and protective of the product as today’s PET, while being better for the planet. The exclusive use of renewable feedstocks which do not divert resources or land from food production is the Alliance’s main focus area. The R&D will focus initially on cardboard, sawdust and wood chips but other biomass materials, such as rice hulls, straw and agricultural residue could be explored.
“Current technology on the market makes it possible to have 30% bio-PET,” noted John Bissell, Chief Executive Officer of Origin Materials. “Our breakthrough technology aims to reach 100% bio-based bottles at commercial scale. With the help of our Alliance partners, Origin Materials will be able to scale up a technology which has already been proven at the pilot level.”
A packaging revolution for all
The NaturALL Bottle Alliance partners consider that everyone should benefit from this new material, so the technology will be accessible for the entire beverage industry. This unique approach demonstrates the allies’ commitment to open innovation and sustainable business.
“It’s incredible to think that, in the near future, the industry will be able to use a renewably sourced packaging material, which does not compete with food production and contributes to a better planet,” commented Klaus Hartwig, Head of R&D for Nestlé Waters. “It therefore made perfect sense for us to join forces through this Alliance to develop this innovative technology in a large scale and in the shortest time period possible. This is an exciting journey and we are proud to be part of it.”
A packaging revolution in record time
Origin Materials has already produced samples of 80% bio-based PET in its pilot plant in Sacramento. Construction of a “pioneer plant” will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of 60+% bio-based PET to start in 2018. The initial volume goal for this first step is to bring 5,000 metric tons of bio-based PET to the market. Thanks to their complementary skills and shared vision, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance aims to develop the process for producing at least 75% bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95% in 2022. The partners will continue to conduct research to increase the level of bio-based content, with the objective of reaching 100%.
Source: Medium.com / Nestleusa.com
Best practices to remain sustainable in the Food Industry
Best Practices with Edible Insects Novel Food Law
Exporting food has an environmental cost so is it really impossible to remain sustainable while consuming it? What are the best practices then ?
My last interview with Risteco’s co-funder Isabelle Lacourt and Thanaphum Muang-Ieam, a Thai edible insects entrepreneur were edifying.
Environmental cost of international export, especially between different continents seem fundamentally not sustainable.
Eating bananas from Australia would generate about 1.4 ton of CO2 since planes pollute 3 times more than cars. Moreover, that would deprive local farmers of jobs. Furthermore, consuming exotic food would promote an irresponsible consumption way.
So, should we stop eating bananas ?
On the 26th of october a conference involving the European Commission and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) evokating edible insects future legislation took place in Bangkok. This novel food law should enter into force by 2018 to make edible insects business legal into the European Union. According to the regulatory expert of the Public Federal Service of Public Health in Brussels, edible insects from Asia and other continents might be legalized if they respect specific conditions.
However, we can expect these Asiatic insects to be sold at a lower price than the european one. As a result, we could expect those bugs to be the main consumers choice in the coming years.
Then are edible insects still going to be a sustainable food?
“Exporting is not always a bad thing” Isabelle Lacourt, cofounder of Ritseco says . It actually depends on the conditions the products have been made through. For instance, lambs from New Zealand actually revealed that exported food was sometimes healthier than the french ones.
In Thailand firms dealing with edible insects prepare to get into the European Market. They plan to produce this future food by huge amount. Is that wrong?
“Producing at a high scale is necessary in order to be profitable otherwise it is too expensive” Thanaphum Muang-Ieam co-funder of Global Bugs, answers.
Therefore the best practices to remain sustainable are:
Increase your production to get into global markets
Reducing your crickets breeding space
Develop a local farmer learning and support model
Anticipate future sustainable development hurdles
” It is wrong to make huge firms based on a vertical integration process. We need to separate the different supply chain activities to reach a better quality food »Dr. Yupa Hanboonsong said.
« Mass production is never conducive to biodiversity » Isabelle Lacourt added. Indeed, single supplier, concentration & production cost’ permanent reduction work are not sustainable.
Promoting sustainable food is a great opportunity to provide billions of people with high quality food standards. It should not be seen only as a business opportunity. If business is the key point of any sustainable activities, long-term effects of any opportunist approach might lead to a poor food quality.
Discover my three months edible insects’ investigation and best practices here.
Considered one of the top trends will shape the FMCG industry in 2017, mature consumers phenomenon may have important implications for FMCG, where both manufacturers and retailers need to rethink their products and services in order to be more attractive for the mature segment
In 2015, around 1,6 billion people worldwide aged 50 and over and by 2050 this number might double by approximately reaching 3,2 people (AT Kearney, 2013).
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”17″ bg_color=”#00aa23″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]
Sum up :
• Mature segment will represent a key segment in coming years
• Many FMCG manufacturers and retailers are already massively investing for mature consumers
• Mature consumers are not all the same [/mks_pullquote]
[mks_separator style=”blank” height=”5″]
Therefore, what it is sure, it is that FMCG professionals will face with a population that will be healthier, older and even wealthier. Indeed, R&D improvements in the drugs production, clinical trials and medical researches progresses in the fight of serious diseases will allow people to live longer and healthier. This fact will have relevant implications in terms of wellness; firstly people aged 50 and over will increase their presence at work, by representing a relevant share of the total workforce, especially in developed countries. Secondly by working longer, and by continuing to earn and spend wages, they will represent the richest segment in many countries.
1. What mature consumers want
A research made by AT Kearney (AT Kearney, 2013), with a sample of 3,000 consumers (aged 60 and over) interviewed, shows all consumption characteristics of the segment:
- A clearer and easier product packaging: for many consumers the pack of many products would not be clear enough. Most of them claim to have a better product description in the front of pack where, often, the label showing the type of product is too small and not visible. Moreover even the packaging itself would be too complicated to open in many cases, by generating confusion for mature consumers.
- Need of more assistance and services inside the stores: many mature consumers would like to get more help from clerks inside the store (most the products are hard to reach on shelves, because they are either too high or too low). This need is against what we are recently looking at (i.e. many retailers which are dawnsizing their stores, especially in developed countries, by also reducing the number of employees). They would also claim the need of more services (i.e. more places to sit down and where they could relax throughout their shopping experience as coffee areas) even in the so-called proximity stores (the preferred store format by many consumers interviewed)
- Shopping behaviour is different vs younger generations: although the differences across markets and global regions, mature consumers show a different buying behaviour. They would be more willing to spend more for branded products (and less for promo items and special offers) by also purchasing a smaller number of items. Additionally they would prefer shopping during weekdays, early in the mornings and with more frequence during the week since they love shopping by looking at it as an alternative way to spend their free time
- Technology is always more relevant: the number of mature consumers facing to the Internet and to the digital devices world is increasingly growing. Across many markets consumers claim to start shopping online (through home delivery service) and most of them would like to be well informed at home and in-store during their shopping experience.
2. Are FMCG companies and retailers really paying attention to matures segment?
Procter and Gamble divested all its food and beverage brands by focusing more on beauty and personal care brands: In 2014 P&G announced that it would have sold around 100 brands (i.e. Pringles to Kellogs and pet food brand sas Iams, Eukanuba and Natura to Mars and Spectrum Brands from across its portfolio to focus on its top most profitable brands. With this choice P&G would be focus more on beauty and personal care brands (at the top of the mature consumer shopping list). Pantene, for example, shows and important range of Age Defy, a specific range focused on 50 or older women, offering shampoos, conditioners and advanced thickening treatment
Unilever is increasingly becoming a personal care companies. Indeed, although Unilever massively divested in the Foods business as of 2014 by selling 7 foods brands just in 2014, it always remains the main congloemerate company in FMCG. The following graph 1 shows this trend at Unilever, representing the food category decline in terms of turnover in 2015 vs previous years.
Graph 1: Unilever Turnover trends across the last 4 years within the 4 Unilever categories
Source: Unilever Annual reports (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Dove, for instance, launched Pro Age, offering body wash, cream and deodorants for women between 50 and 65 years old.
L’Oréal showing an important range of products for mature consumers, especially with L’Oréal Paris, offering anti wringle creams, hair colour and hair care products. Thanks to the 2015 massive campaign “L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect campaign”, showed how mature consumers represent a massive opportunity to boost sales in coming years.
Many retailers across many markets in order to value the proximity service in center urban areas are offering a free (or in many cases a cheap) home delivery service (depending on the final shopping bill) both if they shopping in-store or online. Most of them are also investing to semplify their online service as well as the usability of their applications and websites to make easier the navigation for baby boomers and more mature consumers.
Others try to better satisfy simple but relevant needs for old consumers. Main example are the Japanese supermarkets where the local giant retailer Aeon launched floors inside their supermarkets fully thought for the mature segment: larger aisles, more accessible shelves, relaxing areas inside the store, personal shoppers help consumers to pick up the shopping until the parking and escalators are slower to avoid accidents.
3. Management Implications
- Mature consumers need different and specific strategies to be satisfied: from a manufacturer perspective older consumers need to have easier packs and clearer information on them. Even the communication should be direct and simple, without being so much refined. From a retailer perspective mature consumers need bigger stores with more services inside. Online they need something easy and quick to be used and understood
- Mature consumers are not all the same: as per other important segments what we generally showed above does not reflect the overall market. Significant differences remain across consumers coming from different markets, with a different age, education and digital access. Just to stay in Europe we cannot classify equally 50s British consumers with 50s Italian consumers as consumers are equally browsing online and buying FMCG products online
- Mature consumers represent a significant growing segment for coming years: in order to raise sales and value FMCG manufacturers and retailers will need to dedicare more energies and time to this segment, the only one growing (especially in developed markets) both in terms of number of people and in shopping value. As mentioned in this article, mature consumers will represent the main workforce and the richest segment for next decades, especialy in developed markets.
AT Kearney (2013), Understanding the Needs and Consequences of the Ageing Consumer
Unilever Annual Reports (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
In 2017 more than ever top 5 key trends will shape the business.
1 – Faster shopping is always more important
In 2017, consumers are impatient. The digital world has defined them “IWWIWWIWI”— “I want what I want when I want it”— consumers are impulsive and in pursuit of immediate gratification. Brands are responding with a slew of speed-up business models, from one-hour delivery to offers via beacon technology, used by retailers to broadcast messages to nearby consumers
First of our 2017 top 5 key trends is of course Amazon. They are working on delivering packages to people’s homes in under 30 minutes through the use of drones. Amazon customers in France can already buy SEAT Mii city cars from the shopping site, delivered to their home within 72 hours. The #DeliveryToEnjoy campaign has been created to enhance the vehicle buying experience, “offering a 100% online experience, with speed and respect of delivery and a streamlined payment solution”, says SEATers via their smartphones
Check also => Drone delivery the next disruption ?
The food rush competition
Food rush Next-day delivery is being overtaken by ever-faster delivery possibilities for the shopper in a rush. UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s launched one-hour delivery of food and groceries by bike in parts of London in September 2016, the first UK supermarket to do so. It is doing this via its Chop Chop app, competing with Amazon’s Prime Now and Deliveroo. Sainsbury’s said that the technology is perfect for buying up to 20 goods in an emergency.
2 – Customization is invading the mass market
In 2017, we will have come to accept the idea that an industrially-produced product can be customized or personalised, at least in part. While there is a lot more customization of “mass-produced” items, high-end personalisation is also thriving due to demand for “experiential luxury”, the shift from “having to being”. With an almost infinite capacity to gather information on clients and innovation in production technologies such as 3D printing, the masses can now imitate their harriving in theigh-end counterparts. This trend is changing consumer expectations, as customers demand that brands fulfill or even predict their needs. Brands are also looking to strengthen the brand / client relationship through the emotions they can arouse by making things “personal”
Subscription-based business will need to keep customer-centric
Subscription services, delivering selections of products directly to consumer homes, capitalize on consumer trends like self-treating and convenience, but their success is also likely due to the customized nature of their offerings. Consumers around the globe have been captivated by these considered picks of everything from skincare products, pet treats, gaming and razors to meal kits with pre-measured ingredients and recipes.
As an example, HelloFresh develops recipes and delivers boxed ingredients to consumers in Europe and North America, shipping 7.5 million meals monthly in mid-2016 according to co-founder Thomas Griesel. He said that the brand is positioned for customization as it creates taste profiles for customers based on cooking preferences or “personal taste clustering”. Customers indicate what they don’t like, perhaps seafood or pasta, and are regularly asked for feedback leading to a “hypercustomized” service.
Check our article on how to use mass customization with food products
3 – Wellness food is the new hype
Consumers are aware that eating habits directly influence quality of life. This is fueling unprecedented demand for healthier eating options with fitness-promoting attributes sought in supplements, beauty products and even pet food by consumers willing to pay for them. With the endorsement of health experts, such as nutritionists, chefs, fitness and medical professionals, brands are busy creating products with the addition of health-giving properties, including exotic vegetables, vitamins and fiber. Mainstream brands now speak the language of wellness. Mondelez International boasts that “We create snacks to bring people delicious moments of joy. To help consumers on their well-being journey”—a key brand priority leading up to 2020.
Check how we can use Wellness with digital
4 – Children and over 50 consumers will be targeted
Today’s family demands are launching their child into consumption at an earlier stage. Increasingly, the input of children in purchasing decisions is welcomed by their parents, rather than being perceived as a nuisance. The parent-child relationship, s, is now more bilateral. Parents seek their kids’ opinions about all kinds of once-adult decisions, including where to go for dinner, what kind of car to buy, even what to wear. Online life is also exposing children to buying opportunities and to brands that solicit the start of an evolving consumer relationship.
The Longevity economy
In 2017, almost a quarter of everyone on the planet will be over the age of 50, a record number. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the “Longevity economy” Website “High 50”, with a tagline “Age has its benefits”, looks at the spectrum of lifestyle interests of this segment: Home, beauty, dating, fitness, food, health, life, money, startup and travel.
Sources : Euromonitor – Kantar – The economist
Focus on Drone delivery: The next disruption in grocery
Pizzas could arrive from the sky in New Zealand and perhaps soon in Europe. This is not science fiction but reality. Indeed, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises has announced its partnership with Flirtey, leader in drone deliveries, to launch the first pizza deliveries drone service in the world. The two companies celebrated their alliance by organizing a demo in Auckland, New Zealand on 25 August 2016.
This event marks the end of the approval process by Flirtey and the beginning of this experiment from a Domino’s restaurant in New Zealand.
Pizza delivery drone becomes a reality in New Zealand
New Zealand was chosen for this experiment because of its regulation, which allows companies to use delivery drones. According to Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO, the company’s growth in recent years has increased significantly the number of deliveries and Domino is constantly seeking to innovate in pizza home delivery. The use of drones as a means of delivery is designed to complement Domino’s current fleet in the field.
They will include control systems and GPS online. The Pizza chain invested heavily to equip their restaurants with various delivery vehicles, such as electric scooters, electric bikes and even pizza delivery robots (DRU), the latest innovation.
For supplier it doesn’t make sense to have a 2-tonne machine delivering a 2-kilogram order. The DRU DRONE is the next step in Domino’s expansion in artificial intelligence field. It will enable them to acquire new knowledge and adopt new technologies in the business..Drone delivery allows to expand their supply zone by removing barriers such as traffic or accessibility and to provide faster and reliable delivery system.
Drone delivery could be soon possible in Europe
The first test flights will take place this year after summer in New Zealand. Domino’s will offer discounts on shipments by drone in the early stage of the test to perform later more substantial deliveries in terms of size, weight and distance, depending on the initial results and the Customer feedback. The group announced the possibility of extending the experiment to its six markets, namely: Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.
Drone Delivery: The next disruption?
Except for security matters, we think Drone delivery allows companies to reach more rural customers and to reach urban customers in a much more efficient time. Moreover delivery cost would be cheaper and eco-friendly. This year, we saw many companies investing in drone delivery, among them, retailers such as:
- Amazon in UK: The government permitted them to conduct drone delivery tests
- 7-Eleven in U.S: The convenience store chain managed a trial with drone delivery for the first time in the country
- Google in Australia: Delivery drone has been tested in order to reach consumers in rural area
Did you know?
Domino’s Pizza is ready for the disruption
Domino’s Pizza makes your local pizzeria a loser, half of the company’s U.S. orders are digital. Its stock hit an all-time high in 2016 because Domino’s Pizza has aggressively courted Millennial stomachs by upping its online game and allowing young people to order via texts, voice recognition, connected voice and also tweets. Traditional pizzerias lost 21% Market share during the past decade.