How can FMCG businesses in the GCC ensure that they remain relevant?
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How can FMCG businesses in the GCC ensure that they remain relevant?

How can FMCG businesses in the GCC ensure that they remain relevant?

Innovation remains the main key that enables a company to be a game-changer, says Philippe Gelder, president and CEO at Voted Product of the Year Worldwide


What has been the impact of Covid-19 on the consumer-goods market?

With sustained access to essentials – food, medication, and select “at-home” categories, conventional stores selling essential goods maintained their activities despite the impact of Covid-19 on the retail sector, while e-commerce grew much faster.

FMCG is probably the sector that benefited most. Its market grew globally by more than 10 per cent in 2020 and it is further expected to increase at a rate of 2-5 per cent in 2021. This projection is based on the long-awaited introduction of new and interesting products that mirror the shift in demand and underscore growth acceleration of the e-commerce channel, which has expanded by 45.5 per cent worldwide.

I believe we will never live a “new normal” but instead accept the “never normal.”

What are the post-Covid opportunities for the industry?

Four trends within the retail sector will accelerate following the paradigm shift in consumer behaviour. First, increased digital activity implies that online and omnichannel purchasing will become part of the daily channel offer.

Second, the growing focus on improving health paired with an increased demand for fresh, healthy and local food will become the trend, driving forth longer-term habits that centre on a healthy lifestyle.

Third, shift to value for money will be the norm as in any post-crisis downturn. Lastly, loyalty shock leading to scarcity of products has spurred the trial of new brands as consumers trade up and down.

Innovation remains the main key that enables you to be a game-changer with winning creations.

What value does Voted Product of the Year add during these times?

The DNA of Voted POY Worldwide is certainly an asset to promote products in days of uncertainty. It reflects the genuine recommendation of consumers, surveyed by a neutral and independent research institute which has been handling the process and establishing reputation of the POY logo at a worldwide level since 1987.

Additionally, Voted POY stimulates the quest for innovation. For example, in the 2021 edition, we saw new launches that are in line with global trends, such as: protein-based healthy snacks (Raw Bites), new antibacterial products (Guardex), and easy to prepare food (Sadia Chicken Easy & Juicy).

What is the biggest transformation that businesses must undertake to cater to consumers’ new shopping habits?

In 2020, e-commerce recorded the fastest growth with 45 per cent increase, more than double its growth rate in 2019. Presently worth 6.5 per cent of the total FMCG market, the channel gained 1.6 per cent globally with an expectation to reach 10 per cent soon.

Within the Gulf region, the channel is likely to grow exponentially. While e-commerce in UAE represented 4.2 per cent of the retail revenue in 2018, it is estimated to surge by an average of 23 per cent by 2022. Although conventional shopping remains relevant for cultural and geographical reasons, the convergence between channels will continue to expand within a sophisticated marketing approach. Voted Product of the Year once again provides valuable content for any channel.

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