The survey of 345 key executives in retail and consumer goods organizations across 46 countries, conducted twice annually, found that the competitive landscape also has 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," the forum said in announcing the survey results.
Reviewing the survey results, the Consumer Goods Forum's managing director, Jean-Marc Saubade, said that the survey findings demonstrate that, faced with a discount mindset that may prevail beyond the recession, the consumer goods industry has recognized this 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," Saubade said. "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."
The Consumer Goods Forum is an independent global parity-based Consumer Goods network. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of around 650 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries. The Forum was created in June 2009 by the merger of CIES - The Food Business Forum, the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) and the Global CEO Forum.
The survey reflects the anonymous online responses of 345 CEOs and senior executives at retail and consumer goods companies, across 46 countries. From a list of 12 broad subjects, respondents were asked to choose their top three priorities for the coming year and rank them in order of importance.
Results for the latest survey follow:
The Consumer Goods Forum Top Of Mind Survey - January 2010
The economy and consumer demand
Corporate social responsibility
The competitive landscape
Food and product safety
The retail/brand offer
Consumer health & nutrition
Technology and supply chain