PETALING JAYA: As the impact of the economic slowdown is expected to be felt in the coming months, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry needs to confront the rapid changing consumer behaviours and movements in the retail space.
Etika Group CEO for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Khalid Alvi (pic) said the success of the FMCG industry depends on how retailers and manufacturers address changing consumer behaviours and shifts in the retail market.
Towards this end, he told StarBiz that there are a few trends that the company expects to see in the industry.
These include the surge in the in-home consumption segment, the suitability of a location that would drive sales and the boost in logistics caused by the e-commerce boom.
“The closure and restricted dine-in options has led to an increase in in-home consumption. Food and beverage categories, particularly perishables, saw strong growth as consumers stock up food at home, ” he added.
Based on a research carried out by Nielsen, it shows the need for in-home consumption to continue in the first half of 2021.
For FMCG operators, Khalid said there are a few key takeaways from this lesson. To this end, he said manufacturers should optimise product distribution to ensure their availability in the most-demanded categories.
They should also forecast in the area of category evolution to quantify the impact of their sales and adapt their inventory to consumer behaviour, he noted.
Khalid added: “Retailers should ensure that they have the right products in the right stores and distribution centres, based on the new shifts in purchase patterns.
“Manufacturers and retailers should work together to focus on consumables to drive store traffic, basket size, share and loyalty.”
Etika Group is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of PepsiCo’s global brands such as Pepsi, Tropicana, Mountain Dew, Revive Isotonic, Mirinda, 7UP, Gatorade, Lipton Ice Tea, MUG, Sting and Evervess exclusively in Malaysia.
The company also manufactures, distributes and markets Wonda Coffee and Calpis, plus its own brands like Goodday Milk, Dairy Champ, Kickapoo (a Monarch trademark), Hijrah, Chill Asian Drinks and Bleu Mineral Water.
As a result of this shift in shopping patterns, he said the “golden” locations for many FMCG brands have changed as well.
He said bigger retail outlets located in huge shopping malls may experience a lower footfall, while convenience stores in residential areas on the other hand may observe higher traffic.
“This has changed the concentration, or number of stores, that account for most of FMCG sales, often referred to as “golden stores, ” Khalid added.
Malaysia’s e-commerce Industry has expanded at an exponential pace due to the pandemic, he said, adding that this has led to the increase in the number of online shoppers.
As a result, Khalid said it triggered the transformation of the domestic retailers’ business strategy towards e-commerce and Internet-Of-Things (IoT) which opened opportunities for the main logistics drivers in the country such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, e-commerce, and third-party logistics
sectors.On Etika’s plan moving forward in the next few months, Khalid said: “We understand that this is a trying time for many Malaysians and we hope to continue to provide our support to the nation through a series of meaningful activations, contributions, and offerings.
“For this year, we are looking forward to more community outreach activities through our Etika Cares programme.
“Our main focus would be to help better the livelihoods of the B40 (bottom 40) communities and other more vulnerable groups which have been affected by the pandemic.
“By lending them a helping hand, we hope to smoothen their recovery process during this time and bring some comfort to the families involved.
“We also anticipate that the economic impact of the pandemic will persist during the first half of the year. Because of this, we need to strengthen our standard operating procedures even further and ensure the group remains a safe place to work and remain proactively prudent in the safety of our employees, facilities, partners, suppliers, ” he added.