Mar 14, 2019

Top 10 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies

Catherine Sturman
5 min
FMCG companies
10. L’Oréal

10. L’Oréal

Founded in 1919 in France, L’Oréal has grown into a multinational brand with over 82,000 employees, becoming one of the most internationally recognised FMCG companies worldwide.

Registering 498 patents in 2017, the business is focused on innovation and developing strong relationships with suppliers and partners. 100% of its strategically important suppliers will also take part in its sustainable development programme in 2020.

9. Phillip Morris

Despite various campaigns, over a billion people are set to smoke in 2025. Multinational FMCG company, Philip Morris remains a leading tobacco company, expanding its footprint into more than 180 key markets.

With 81,000 employees covering 80 languages in total, the company houses a comprehensive, agricultural supply chain; sourcing 400,000 metric tonnes of tobacco each year in partnership with 350,000+ tobacco farmers. The company has also sought to embrace the manufacture of electronic devices for heated tobacco products and ecigarettes.

8. JBS

Launched in the 1950s, global Brazilian food industry leader JBS is now home to 300 production facilities with over 10 billion-dollar brands under its umbrella., such as Seara, Swift, Friboi, Doriana, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s, Primo and more.

Serving more than 300,000 customers, it is the world’s largest company in the beef sector, with over 235,000 employees. Its Legal Supplier Programme has enabled beef suppliers to adapt to Brazil’s environmental legislation, whilst the Green Light Pact initiative has seen cattle breeding centres in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil improve their production practices.

7.  Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging distribution network, strong portfolio and exceptional marketing capabilities have made it one of the most iconic FMCG companies in the world.

Available in over 200 countries, its products are supplied through one of the world’s largest beverage distribution networks, where suppliers must adhere to its Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP) and Supplier Engagement Program.

Adopting SmartLabel technology across its manufacturing operations, the business is also leading the way in the identification, implementation and sharing of best practices. Each product now houses a QR code, providing complete transparency. The company is also looking to reduce the emissions from its production processes, where 42% of energy used at its sites is sourced from renewable energy sources.

6. AB InBev

Originally established by combining three big companies: Interbrew, Ambev and Anheuser-Busch, Belgian-Brazilian beverage company AB InBev is officially the world’s largest beverage business.

Selling over 500 beer brands, such as Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Quilmes in more than 100 countries, the company is acutely aware of its need to frequently adapt and enhance its distribution network.


Partnering with nearly 50,000 farmers, the business is committed to sustainable sourcing, where its flagship platform, SmartBarley has utilised data analytics to support more than 5,000 enrolled farmers improve their productivity and environmental performance. AI and blockchain will also support its manufacturing capabilities.

5. Unilever

Housing some of the most recognisable everyday brands, Unilever’s aggressive acquisition strategy and strong brand presence has seen it become a household name across 190 countries worldwide. Its R&D centres have sought to fully bolster its manufacturing operations and vast distribution network, where the business has maintained its zero non-hazardous waste-to- landfill agenda since 2017.

Additionally, a number of its initiatives have provided employment opportunities to those in rural areas. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has enabled half of the company’s agricultural raw materials, such as palm oil to become sustainably sourced. Not only that, 26 sustainable living brands are now situated under the company’s umbrella.

4. PepsiCo

The main rival to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo’s beverages, as well as its food products continue to grow in popularity and demand.

Harnessing significant brand awareness, the Fortune 500 company is one of the most admired companies in the world. Its six global divisions form part of its aim to transform its products which are delivered through its extensive distribution network to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.

3. Procter & Gamble

Following from its acquisition of personal care company Gillette in 2005, Procter & Gamble has become one the largest FMCG companies, with operations in up to 70 countries.

Providing a range of personal and consumer health products to five billion customers, the company’s recent plans to acquire the consumer health division of Merck Group, as well as implementing a new simplified management structure will form part of its 2020 vision.

2. Johnson & Johnson

A firm family favourite, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the most influential FMCG companies. With products in three categories, Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, the business has grown at a considerate pace, with up to 250 subsidiaries under its umbrella.

The company’s complex, global distribution network and diverse supplier base has seen the business embrace new technologies across its network, as it continues to thrive in its role in delivering quality products and services at affordable prices for consumers.

1. Nestle AG

Undertaking a number of corporate acquisitions, Swiss food and beverage company, Nestle has become the largest in the world, with more than 2000 brands available in 189 countries.

Home to the world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, the company invested US$1.7bn in its research capabilities in 2017 alone, supporting its 30 R&D facilities worldwide. Its recent partnership with Starbucks will see the business bolster its complex distribution network.

Additionally, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nestle is striving for zero environmental impact across its operations. Providing clear labels across its manufacturing lines, the company provides nutritional knowledge as well as supporting local farmers who provide high quality ingredients within its sustainable sourcing efforts.

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Dec 7, 2018

Top 10 manufacturing trends for 2019

Digital Transformation
Joanne Phoenix
4 min
manufacturing trends
10. Investment / funding for SMEs As established enterprises wre...

10. Investment / funding for SMEs

As established enterprises wrestle with becoming more innovative and agile, ‘buying in’ that mindset and approach will be an increasingly attractive option. For start-ups and SMEs, the benefit is being able to access funding and support from a wide range of sources and being able to tap into the much wider resources of larger organisations, without necessarily compromising their independence.

Whether through financial investment, accessing IP or simply agreeing a mutual sharing of resources, 2019 will see increased partnerships and collaborations between established manufacturers and smaller operators.

9. Better diversity

2018 saw the continuation of a major conversation and focus on diversity across all levels of society. From a manufacturing perspective, the business case is clear – an organisation is likely to perform better financially if its workforce is more diverse. Diversity is going to continue to be top of the agenda for many years to come, and with greater public awareness will come increased government scrutiny and tougher legislation.

Forward thinking businesses will pre-empt this by implementing more rigorous and impactful programmes to accelerate the diversification of their workforces.

8. Workforce of the future

Digitalisation holds great promise for manufacturers, yet it is not an off the shelf solution. Any sort of transformation is as much about the people implementing it as it is about the technology. With digital skills a scarce resource, manufacturers need to be investing now to ensure that they are building a workforce of the future. 2019 will see increased investment in digital training, both internally and in partnership with centres of education, such as universities and accelerators.

Partnering with complementary businesses will also help bring knowledge into businesses in a cost-effective manner. 

7. AI/Machine Learning

The increased adoption of IoT will also see an increase in the amount of data that manufacturers produce. Data may be the crude oil of the 21st century, but without the ability to analyse and action based on tangible, accurate insights, it is simply taking up space. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning comes in – having the ability to manage volumes of data, generate legible insights and proffer solutions will greatly increase manufacturers’ responsiveness, improving efficiency and helping identify new business opportunities.

2019 will see greater levels of importance attached to manufacturers’ ability to incorporate AI and machine learning into their operations.

6. 5G rollout

5G will deliver huge improvements in download speeds, latency reduction and the ability to remotely control a vast array of devices. 2019 will be the year that the groundwork and preparation for 5G rollout really picks up, with the potential for the beginning of a limited rollout by the end of the year.

For manufacturers looking to fully invest in IoT this will be a huge gamechanger, giving them true real-time control and insight which will result in being able  to make faster, more impactful decisions.

See also

5. Blockchain boom

Almost unheard of by anybody outside the cryptocurrency-sphere until 2017-18, blockchain is now taking the manufacturing world by storm. The coming year will see a direct impact of blockchain on financial operations, boosting speed, security and a cost-effective solution to transactions.

Looking at the supply chain, blockchain technologies will also influence different areas from management, tracking and transaction reporting.

4. AR and VR enhancement

The majority of manufacturers, or those working in the sector, have encountered some form of virtual or augmented reality in recent years. Whether it is quirky start-ups or large-scale global brands, we are set to see more of this technology incorporated into existing processes and products to enhance overall experience.

We will continue to see new companies emerge, identifying innovative ways of adopting it, while established organisations will mine their business to uncover areas of improvement.

3. Cyber security

Cyber threats will continue to dominate technology spending. As companies become more digital, and increase their connected footprint, they will be increasingly exposed to cyber criminals. At the same time, they need to balance the need for security with the need to be able to innovate.

Businesses will need to develop new ways of securing their operations, with a growing realisation that the firewall approach isn’t fit for purpose, either in preventing breaches or allowing them to be more agile. 

2. IoT expansion

It is widely accepted that the Internet of Things (IoT) market is growing at an exponential rate and becoming the norm for many, with 3.6bn connected devices used for daily tasks this year. In 2019, we can expect this growth to continue to spread.

Boosted by 5G connectivity and advances in sensor technology, the manufacturing industry will see more IoT devices than ever before to drive forward the industrial revolution.

1. Industry – university collaboration

There has long been an understanding of the value of industry/university collaborations; however, until recently this was limited to a few select partnerships. In 2019, links between industry and academia will continue to strengthen as both sides seek to use the resources and expertise of the other to enhance their own offerings and increase their understanding of the theoretical and practical applications of new technologies.

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