stands for f
oods. An FMCG company is any company that produces these goods. Well-known FMCG companies include Unilever, Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company.
Examples of fast-moving consumer goods
The definition of FMCG is very broad - any items that are sold at relatively low prices and consumed relatively quickly may be considered examples of 'fast-moving consumer goods'. Most of the products in your local supermarket probably qualify.
Common FMCGs include:
- Fruit and veg
- Soft drinks
- Dairy products
- Bread and other baked goods
- Toiletries (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant)
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Some forms of medication
FMCGs are sold in high volumes at low prices and used up rapidly (as opposed to durable goods - such as cars, appliances and furnishings - which are purchased less frequently and expected to last much longer).
Challenges for FMCG companies
There's a lot of money to be made in the FMCG industry, but these goods tend to have a small profit margin and - in many cases - a short shelf life. This means that, in order to thrive, FMCG companies must strive to sell as many units as they can as quickly and as consistently as they can. This requires shrewd marketing (to get people to make an initial purchase) and high product quality (to keep people coming back for more purchases going forward).
Other challenges for FMCG companies include:
- Extending shelf life of perishable goods
- Reducing impact on the environment (e.g. from discarded packaging)
- Keeping costs low enough to compete on price
Roles within the FMCG industry
The FMCG industry is very large and extremely varied, with all sorts of roles available for all sorts of different skill sets. Talented workers from STEM fields are highly sought-after in this sector, as these are the people who can help FMCG companies to:
- Improve product quality / effectiveness
- Drive down costs via technological advancements
- Boost shelf life by delaying product expiration
- Create more environmentally-friendly products and packaging solutions
The ingenuity, expertise and creativity of skilled scientists have long been crucial to the success of the world's largest FMCG companies, and there's no shortage of roles for gifted science/technology workers in this particular sector.
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