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FMCG Around the World – How does it compare to the UK?

July 3, 2024
Lukas Vanterpool

The Fast-Moving-Consumer-Goods, or FMCG, sector covers everything from food and beverage items to household goods such as toiletries, washing powder and over the counter medicine.

As you can imagine, the nature of the products manufactured in this sector are produced and consumed in extremely high volumes, and they contribute considerably to the economy of a country.

As we have covered the food and FMCG markets within the UK in great detail, we thought that we would look further afield to see how the overseas markets compare.

Further Reading:












The UK FMCG sector is the largest manufacturing sector in the country accounting for 14% of all manufacturing. 

Global companies dominate the UK FMCG sector, such as Mars, L’Oreal, Cadbury, and Coca-Cola, but there has been an influx of smaller, niche operations appearing as the organic, clean eating and vegan food movements grow in popularity.

Statistics by Nielsen show that UK consumers spent almost 4% more on FMCG goods in 2016 compared to 2015 but bought 0.9% less.

As we have regularly documented in our other blogs and contributed to other articles, Brexit has been a significant factor when it comes to the growth of the sector, with the topics of import and employment high on the agenda.

There is a huge opportunity for growth when it comes to FMCG e-commerce, with IDG predicting that by 2021, the online grocery market in the UK will have grown by 68%, with Amazon Fresh being a key driver.

Industry worth: £110 billion

Import Value: £38.5 billion

Export Value: £18 billion

Employment: 400,000 individuals employed by 7000 companies.

Leading FMCG trading partners: USA, Germany, France, Spain













The FMCG market in India accounts for 2.15% and is the 4th largest sector of the Indian economy. In 2016, the Indian FMCG sector recorded a 16% increase in sales, although it only accounts for 0.685 of the global FMCG market. Food products are the leading segment (43%) with personal care (22%) and fabric care (12%) following.

Rural India accounts for one-third of the total consumption, and this is one of the key drivers of the sectors growth, with FMCG companies devising marketing strategies that will tap into the rural consumer base.

India has a large packaging industry within the FMCG sector, and this alone is worth $2.9 billion.

The industry is projected to lose 15% of its annual revenue each year due to counterfeit products, and these products are impacting the sales of leading brands by as much as 30%.

Industry worth: $49 billion

Export Value: $16 billion

Employment: 3,000,000 people employed by the FMCG market including producers, supply, manufacturing, and retail

Leading FMCG trading partners: America, United Kingdom, the UAE, Thailand and South Africa.











The FMCG industry in Australia is its largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 33% of the country’s total manufacturing.

Australia’s Food and Grocery Council have previously spoken out about the intense pressure that its food and FMCG sectors are facing; the pressure has come from a number of sources, including Australian currency fluctuations, the comparatively higher cost of doing business in Australia than other countries and the competitive nature of the food retail sector.

Recent statistics have reported that the value of FMCG sector exports have increased by 14% year on year.

Industry worth: $125.9 billion

Import Value: $35.2 billion

Export Value: $31.5 billion

Employment: 300,000 direct jobs and crucial to regional farmers and communities.

Leading FMCG trading partners: USA, China, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan.

Figures above in Australian dollars.











America’s FMCG industry is the largest in the world, and it contributes to around 6% of the country’s total GDP.

Its food exports have been falling in recent years because many countries do not accept US food processing standards.

The American Government has announced a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2025; the Grocery Manufacturers Association reported last year that their member companies had recycled 93% of the food waste generated by manufacturing.

Small players in the American FMCG market are outperforming the competition, and are growing their revenue three times faster than the industry growth; these small firms have gained 1.7% of the total market share.

Industry worth: $446 billion

Import Value: $130 billion

Export Value: $131 billion

Employment: 1,500,000 employed FMCG firms

Leading FMCG trading partners: Canada, China, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom.

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About The Author

Lukas Vanterpool

I started The Sterling Choice with Gareth Whyatt back in August 2013. We’ve always remained true to ourselves and what it is we’re trying to achieve – A great company with great people and great results! This journey never stops, we are always finding ways to support our colleagues and make sure they leave every day feeling fulfilled.

Over the years I’ve always been asked “what’s your USP??, what makes you different from all the other agencies??”. That’s an easy one for me to answer – “Our culture makes our business and our people make our culture”

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