After years of struggle, the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry is poised to growth. In countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, shoppers have started to spend again. Countries such as Spain, Greece and the Netherlands remain in economic problems although they start to show little signs of recovery and sales seem to have an opportunity.

Anyway, global recession has changed consumers’ shopping behavior and there is no return to pre-recession habits. In this context, manufacturers and retailers must work together, given that they need each other. Retailers are demanding more from their suppliers, and manufacturers from the chains. They have realized that price wars are unsustainable for both and, even, for consumers who will not accept them if they mean lower quality products. Manufacturers must focus on joint business planning with their retail partners and convince them that stocking national brands benefits the store, generating traffic and a profitable margin for the store. Retailers are the gateways to customers. They control shelf-space, so national brands need retailers to get their product to the end consumer. By optimizing their range assortment, sharing information and working together, retailers and manufacturers can identify new areas of mutual benefit.

Who is at the end? A ‘new’ consumer…..Economic recession has affected consumers’ preferences for Private labels and national brands in the retailers’ assortments. Consumers have evolved to become harder to find, engage and please. FMCG has become in a consumer-facing industry; consumers are more in control of relationships with brands and retailers and are more aware of products and services they’re being offered. In this context, shoppers are no longer tied to a brand or retailer and instead they’re looking for value, whether that comes from a low price or high quality. Therefore, both manufacturers and retailers have many new areas to explore for retail recovery. The goal is clear: to ensure consumer’s products and brands are available at the right time, through the right channel and at the right price.