WASHINGTON — Despite rising commodity prices, the CPG industry is in recovery mode with companies looking to international expansion to enhance their top and bottom lines, according to a 2011 food, beverage and consumer products financial performance report released today by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and PwC US.
The report, which includes analyses based on public information from 148 companies, found that financial performance improved across the board over 2009, with the manufacturing sector achieving strong median one-year shareholder returns of 15%.
Part of the success is attributed to efficiencies facilitated by digital technologies. To determine the best use of mobile devices across the workforce, the report suggests viewing workforce productivity through three lenses: mobility on the floor where workers use their digital devices for instant information, in the field where mobile employees can make decisions on the spot with their devices, and in flight where sales representatives use mobile technology to monitor activity, thereby increasing productivity.
Valuable shopper insights are also more accessible due to greater connectivity.
“Today’s consumers are more empowered with greater control of their shopping choices with the growing array of digital technologies like smart phones, tablets and social media. And they aren’t shy about posting their feelings online about products, where they literally are handing over reams of potential insights that can create a tremendous opportunity for CPG companies that can find the patterns in the noise,” said Susan McPartlin, PwC’s Retail and Consumer Industry Leader, in a prepared statement. “Just a few years ago, digital information meant one thing to senior executives — risk. However, companies are no longer just thinking ‘defense,’ they are using the digital data to advance their competitive position, help improve all aspects of operations and get smarter about international expansion plans.”