As a consumer, you generally buy two types of products, including;
- Intended/expected to last for months or even years, such as mobile phones, laptops, furniture, etc.
- Consumed relatively quickly, and they are not durable, such as food, soaps, bakery items, toiletries, etc.
The second type falls in the FMCG or “fast-moving consumer goods” category. FMCGs are of different types and have specific characteristics. Today, we are going to explain the different types and characteristics of fast-moving consumer goods with easily relatable examples.
What is FMCG?
FMCG or fast-moving consumer goods are commonly used, high demand, non-durable, and generally low-priced products sold in the retail markets or stores. In simple words, FMCGs consist of products that cater to our basic or daily life needs, such as clothing, food, stationery products, cosmetics, soaps, shampoo, etc.
Apart from that, manufacturers have revolutionized the FMCG industry by simplifying things for end consumers. For example, we have easy-to-cook foods like noodles that hardly take 5-10 minutes to cook. Then, we have electric toothbrushes that minimize human efforts.
Characteristics of FMCGs
You might think we use mobiles, computers, cars, motorbikes, etc., in routine life, then why don’t they belong to the FMCGs category. FMCGs are categorized on the basis of specific characteristics, which are:
- Low cost/price: These products are available at relatively low costs, and they don’t deplete much of the consumer’s budget. Even a price increase in such products is rarely noticed by the consumers.
- High availability: You can easily buy a pack of bread from any retail store on your street but not an iPhone. In simple words, FMCGs are easily available.
- Non-durable: FMCGs usually don’t last long, even if we try to preserve them. Chocolate has a shorter expiry date than a laptop.
- High consumption: FMCGS are consumed in mass quantities. It is obvious that food, clothing, and similar items are every human’s needs.
- Non-durability: These products are non-durable, and the time span between production and consumption is usually very short. Moreover, manufacturers don’t really have massive stocks of such products; they distribute the products to retailers/wholesalers as soon as they are manufactured.
- Consistent prices, quality, and packaging: FMCGs have relatively consistent quality, packaging, and prices (even the price increase is usually negligible).
It is important to note that some products like branded suits or shoes are not FMCGs. That’s because they are relatively way pricier than other similar products and are not readily available in retail stores. For example, you can buy a Gucci bag only from their registered franchises or licensed retailers.
Types of FMCGs
Beverages include processed or unprocessed juices, drinking water, milk, soft drinks, etc. Processed products usually have added nutritional elements such as carbohydrates, vitamins, etc.
Processed foods are widely consumed in almost all parts of the world. In fact, a major portion of global consumers prefers processed foods because they are adequately cleaned during processing and are kept in airtight packaging to minimize the chances of germs or bacterial/fungal growth.
Processed foods can be ready-to-eat food, cooking ingredients, and value-added nutritional products. Common examples include tinned vegetables, flavored yogurt, cereals, canned beans, tofu, milk, cheese, butter, etc.
Fresh foods are usually sold on a day-to-day basis as they can perish easily. Common examples include vegetables, fruits, fresh milk, etc.
Dry foods are usually more durable than fresh or even processed foods. In fact, some dry foods like sugar or jaggery can easily last a month or even more than that. Other examples of dry foods include flour, rice, powdered milk, etc. It is important to note that these products go through various manufacturing and processing processes. For example, sugar is extracted from sugarcane juice.
These are also processed foods that may or may not need further processing before consumption. Examples include soups, noodles, snacks, ready-to-cook nuggets, etc.
Baked foods include biscuits, cookies, cakes, donuts, and other similar items. Manufacturers usually increase the sales of these products by offering mouthwatering tastes and innovative presentation ideas. However, these products have a very short shelf life, especially cakes and donuts.
Frozen foods are another category of processed food, and they are regular food items in almost every household. Common examples include sausages, frozen yogurt, ice cream, etc.
Cosmetics and toiletries
Cosmetics can be classified as FMCGs as well as durable goods. Certain products like moisturizers, deodorants, perfumes, hair colors, etc., are FMCGs. However, lipsticks, nail polish, eyeliners, etc., can be categorized as FMCGs as well as non-FMCGs. Toiletries include soaps, shampoos, face washes, shaving creams, razors, hair conditioners, toilet rolls, towels, etc.
Health and hygiene products
These products include medicines, tampons, surgical masks, hand sanitizers, hospital gowns, plasters, bandages, syringes, etc.
Stationery & office supplies
Stationery items are regularly used in offices, education institutes, and homes. Common examples include papers, folders, file clippers, ink, pens, markers, notebooks, sticky notes, erasers, etc.
Examples of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Companies
Following the some of the biggest FMCG companies.
Nestle SA or commonly known as Nestle, is one of the most famous organizations around the world. In fact, based on sales/revenue, Nestle is the biggest FMCG company in the world.
Nestle offers highly used food products such as snacks, ice cream, pet foods, frozen foods, dairy products, tea, coffee, mineral water, medical food, baby food, breakfast cereals, etc.
Procter & Gamble
Proctor & Gamble or P&G is another global name in the FMCG industry. The US-based industry giant has extended its reach to more than 180 countries. The company deals in health care, personal care, and beauty products.
Unilever is another massive name in the FMCG industry. The British-Dutch multinational giant covers different categories, including beverages, food, personal care products, cleaning agents, etc.
Unilever stands among the biggest consumer goods companies (based on market capitalization).
Pepsi is one of the biggest names in processed beverages and foods. The company started operations in 1965 in the United States and has become a global juggernaut. Pepsi’s most famous products include Pepsi cola, Diet Pepsi, 7 Up, Mountain Dew, Lay’s, Mirinda, Cheetos, Pepsi Max, Fritos, etc.