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FMCG Industry: The Future of Jobs and Skills

July 3, 2024
Lukas Vanterpool
The increase of jobs in FMCG manufacturing

What is the FMCG industry?

The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, and companies within it, create, manufacture and deliver highly innovative, in-demand products that are purchased frequently and with low-engagement by the public. This means that the products will be bought with little consideration from the individual as they are sold at relatively low price points.

FMCG goods cover a large range of household and food items that are essential, used day in, day out. Items such as cleaning and laundry detergents, personal care, toiletries and make-up, over the counter medicines and food items all fall into the FMCG category. However, the category is far-reaching and pharmaceuticals, stationery, plastic products and consumer electronics are also classed as fast-moving. When you consider the way in which we use and replace these types of items, it soon makes sense.

Statistics for the UK FMCG industry

This industry is known for being extremely competitive and saturated by brands all trying to contend for the attention of the audience, enticing and encouraging them to buy their products.

Global FMCG is a multi-billion-pound industry with recent reports from OC&C Strategy Consultants showing that the biggest companies have experienced almost 10% growth in the last two years – despite the pandemic. Data from Consultancy.UK shows that UK-based FMCG manufacturers such as Unilever, BAT, Reckitt Benckiser and Diago achieved sales of $58.3 billion, $33 billion and $16.3 billion respectively.

According to 2019 data from Gartner, the top FMCG brands in the UK include Pampers, L’Oreal Paris, Philips, Garnier, Nivea, oral-B, Dove, Persil, Braun and Always.

Further Reading:

What jobs are available in the FMCG sector?

The industry is known for its high levels of innovation, creativity and for being incredibly dynamic. There is an enormous number of diverse roles available with the FMCG sector including jobs in each of the following areas:
• Sales – with a focus on online and digital sales
• Account management
• Customer services
• Procurement
• Product design
• Production
• Supply chain & logistics
• Project management
• Packaging
• Quality
• Health and Safety
• Engineering
• Warehouse
• Marketing
• HR
• Finance
• Retail
• Legal
• Warehouse operatives

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What skills are useful for people working in FMCG?

Obviously, the required skills are largely down to the role being performed. However, research from Mckinsey has found that in the next 10 years, the need for physical and manual skills will drastically decline in the FMCG sector as technology gets smarter.

The need for technical skills will increase as will social and emotional and higher cognitive skills will become more important such as creative thinking, analytical skills and logical reasoning.
With technology and consumer demand presenting opportunities for growth, we expect to see an increase in job roles with leadership, communication and collaboration skills such as sales and business development staff, managers and executives. This increase in the use of technology will naturally create more demand for engineers and maintenance employees.

The rise of automation and AI will also create more roles for those with skills in data science, software design and development and AI. Of course, in order to put this data to good use, those with a creative flair will be vital to brand awareness and success.

What challenges does the FMCG industry face?

The industry has not been immune to stagnated organic growth as it’s outdated model of value creation lost traction. According to McKinsey, over three years between 2012-2015 organic revenue in the FMCG grew at 2.5% – a figure that was only marginally lower than global GDP throughout the same period. Large cumbersome businesses began to see a slower growth that those sitting under the $2 billion mark.

The FMCG industry is facing a number of disruptions that must be overcome in order to continue to grow. These challenges include the increasing demand for sustainable ‘green’ products and packaging that is part of the circular supply-chain. As well as being sustainable, they also need to be ethical right through the supply chain; products also need to be ‘better’ for the user.

Brands need to be data-led, and where possible, become part of the IoT – which drives a need for employees and job roles that are focussed on data, including analysts and strategists, as well as those who think creatively when it comes to applying the data. There is also an enormous demand for a push on digital channels and e-commerce. Currently, data from Euromonitor shows that less than 5% of FMCG sales are online, but purchases made via online marketplaces for these items are growing by 27% each year.

The FMCG giants are facing disruption from small, local brands who are able to create personalised experiences for their fans, quickly gaining cult status and loyal brand advocates. These brands are agile and able to leverage their smaller size, having full transparency over their supply chain, easily meeting demands for ethical, sustainable and ‘better’ products and processes.
The ‘millennial effect’ sees those consumers under 35 forming relationships with brands in a way that hasn’t been seen before. They will avoid ‘big’ corporations, and instead seek out smaller challenger brands who will offer them the enhanced, personalised experience they expect.

There is great opportunity in the FMCG industry, especially with the rise of young challenger brands that take data seriously, shaping the future of FMCG, from products to processes. If you are an FMCG looking for a candidate that possesses some of the skills that we have discussed, or a candidate wanting to further their career in FMCG, get in touch with us today, to learn more about how we can help.

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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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