Food product safety remains a concern for consumer goods industry

March 10, 2010

The Consumer Goods Forum has released its latest “Top of Mind Survey,” which reveals the priorities of 345 key decision-makers in global retail and consumer goods companies across 46 countries. The survey, conducted twice annually, found that while the economic environment and consumer spending patterns remain the number one focus for over half of respondents, corporate responsibility has actually moved up the overall rankings from third to second place in 2010.

The competitive landscape also demonstrated an upward trajectory this year. Its third place position indicates an increased urgency among retail and consumer goods companies to compete and win in a spending landscape where frugality and restraint dominate. Food and product safety is another high priority for the industry in 2010, reflecting the importance placed on consumer confidence in this area.

Retail-supplier relations, covering issues including trade costs, pricing, and collaboration, retains its fifth place position in the overall rankings. However, there is a marked difference in the importance placed on this area by retailers and manufacturers, with retailers ranking it as eighth priority for the coming year while manufacturers rank it second. This disparity reflects the fact that pricing remains of the utmost importance to the industry players to remain competitive and to be able to continue to offer recession-friendly prices to the shopper. The fact that brand manufacturers and retailers have chosen precisely this time to unite in The Consumer Goods Forum, on an even-handed basis, puts even more emphasis on the opportunity to collaborate and work together on non-competitive industry issues and process improvements, which help all parties to meet consumer needs.

Reviewing the survey results, The Consumer Goods Forum’s Managing Director Jean-Marc Saubade, said: “These findings demonstrate that, faced with a discount mindset that may prevail beyond the recession, the consumer goods industry has recognized this prime opportunity to inspire consumers again. Consumers now expect high quality at low prices, and the drive to meet their needs is fostering tremendous innovation from brands and in retail formats. Meanwhile, it is encouraging to see that corporate responsibility has not only withstood the pressures of the economic crisis, but has even risen up the rankings this year—proof that its influence on the corporate agenda is here to stay.”

Press release (pdf)