Unilever, an Agile Supply Chain, and the decline of Scenario Planning

Last month Unilever, the CPG giant, released its Q1 sales results. Unlike P&G, which saw an increase of about five percent, Unilever was relatively stagnant. According to Barrons: Sales of the company’s hygiene and cleaning brands, including Cif surface cleaners and Domestos bleach surged by double digits as consumers stocked up to clean their homes… Continue reading

Walmart proves that omnichannel can compete with Amazon after COVID-19, but can others?

During the coronavirus pandemic, where decades of mismanagement and grift at major retailers led to accelerated bankruptcies, Walmart trended the other direction. Absolute dominance. Walmart, America’s largest retailer, saw overall revenue increase by 8.6% while maintaining higher operating margins. Online sales, arguably the most critical battleground in modern retail, grew 74%. “Our omnichannel investments have… Continue reading

General Mills: From foodservice to retail, the impact of coronavirus

In the age of coronavirus, American consumer product companies, like General Mills, are working overtime to ensure that people stay fed in an era of self-containment. It has been almost two weeks since President Trump declared a national emergency, and numerous states followed with “safer-at-home” orders. In a matter of days, Americans went from eating… Continue reading

Information lag. Coronavirus and the CPG supply chain

Just one week after March 15, 2020, when President Donald Trump claimed the US had ‘tremendous control’ of the coronavirus pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsome ordered all state residents to stay home. “The order,” the New York Times reported, “represents the most drastic measure any governor has taken to control the virus.” Similar orders may become… Continue reading

What is a CPG company? It’s more than just a brand.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are everywhere. However, most consumers know them by the brands they produce. Sprite, Tide, and Moleskine notebooks are all packaged goods purchased and used by millions every day. Coca-Cola, P&G, and Moleskine are the CPG companies that produce them. At a high level, a CPG company manufactures products, sells them… Continue reading

The Campbell Soup Company — Processed food growth in a fresh world

Last week the Campbell Soup Company announced that its recent investment in soup marketing paid off. This news is somewhat surprising. Nearly all research shows that consumers want fresh food. According to IRI, in 2017, fresh sales accounted for approximately 30.5 percent of all food sales, with produce, bakery, and deli meats accounting for most… Continue reading

Retailer Shelf Space: Another potential loss for CPG Manufacturers

In theory, the relationship between CPG manufacturers and retailers is one of mutual interest and cooperation. A retailer needs healthy manufacturers to stock their stores with quality products that consumers want. One of the subtexts to my earlier article on Dean Foods is that retailer consolidation is weakening the power of manufacturers to the point… Continue reading