With over 40 years’ experience in the industry, we became increasingly aware of our insightful position between client and candidate. It is this unique perspective that has allowed us to take a step back and investigate the issues that are facing the FMCG industry.
As the ‘middle-men’ so to speak, we have been able to uncover the challenges that are facing the food industry as a whole and look at the areas that need to change if this sector is to prosper and flourish.
While our foundations are based in recruitment, we are deeply involved in the talent that the FMCG sector employs, and are aware of challenges and tribulations that the industry is faced with on a daily basis.
The Brexit vote changed the industry
It was one of the most significant votes that the UK has seen in recent times, and the decision to leave the European Union last year has caused great uncertainty for FMCG brands. It has left the supermarkets with a war in the aisles, and left consumers with concerns as to the cost implications of their weekly shopping trolley.
Brexit has increased competition among the big four supermarkets, and has meant that those in the food industry have had to re-strategise how they source products and their positioning on the shelves. The post-Brexit consumer is more price conscious than ever before, and if supermarkets and brands are to win their custom, they need to ensure that the product is suitably marketed and positioned to be added to a basket.
It’s not just the supermarket shelves which are a concern either, as Brexit has thrown what is already a crisis for talent in the industry, into further turmoil. A sector which is reliant upon talent from other shores, where will talent come from once the UK officially departs the EU if worker’s rights are not protected?
The changing consumer
The increase in online engagement and social media has also played a part in changing the consumer of past to who brands and supermarkets see visit their aisles today. There is now a wealth of information available online to peruse, and then there is also the challenge for brands to manage their digital brand reputation also.
The new age consumer is aware of the impact that they have and is able to voice their concerns with immediacy. However, while many see this as a cause for concern, those who are harnessing the power of this voice, and the insights that it brings, are able to develop their consumer-centric offering.
The consumer has changed vastly over the past decade, and there are many more influencing factors that brands and supermarkets have to navigate if they are to win custom.
Whereas previously deal-hunting was high on the agenda, the horse-meat scandal in 2013, the movement towards consumers adopting plant-based diets, and the increase in digital food shopping options has created a consumer who is much harder to understand.
A move for change
It is for the reasons above that we felt propelled to create The Vision Shift Report, to allow us to delve deeper into the decline in brand purchasing and the increase in investment from supermarkets in developing own-label produce in order to win over consumers. We wanted to better understand the consumer of today, and create actionable insights which would show the way for outdated FMCG brands to move forwards.
Is our consumer-centric society pushing brands and supermarkets to become more competitive? Is there such a thing as the unconscious consumer? And what does the consumer of 2017 look like? The Vision Shift Report investigates the outdated practices in the industry and the change that needs to occur by both brands and supermarkets alike if they are to reign supreme.
To view the full Vision Shift Report click here.
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 peo...