Most studies measure brands’ success using a single metric, or perhaps a combination of two, such as dollar and volume sales. But that’s only a fraction of the whole picture. To gain a more complete view, we collaborated with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to rank the top-performing companies in the U.S. CPG industry based on a combination of three metrics—dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains.
Using comprehensive retail- and consumer-market tracking data, we analyzed the 2012 performance of more than 400 public and private CPG manufacturers with annual U.S. revenues of at least $100 million. We generated three distinct top-ten lists of winning companies: large (more than $5 billion in retail sales), midsize ($1 billion to $5 billion in retail sales) and small ($100 million to $1 billion in retail sales).
One primary takeaway from the report is there are various paths for growth. Some companies effectively manage innovation, others effectively manage pricing.
So which companies took home the top honors? Among large companies, the top three performers were Lorillard, the Hershey Company, and Anheuser-Busch InBev. The top-performing midsize companies were Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Chobani, and Starbucks, while the top-three small company spots went to TalkingRain, Idahoan, and Handi-foil.
The road to success is different for each company, but several trends are stimulating growth for CPG manufacturers. Here are few of the insights we gleaned:
- Small and midsize companies are increasingly taking market share from large competitors. All top-ten small and midsize companies gained market share in 2012. In contrast, large companies have given up 1.4 share points as a group since 2009, amounting to more than $10 billion in lost sales.
- Focused portfolios are delivering results. Small and midsize winners are generally focusing on a few product categories, while the large winners that saw higher share growth tend to compete in fewer categories.
- Large CPG leaders are largely relying on pricing for growth. All 10 winners in the large company category show higher sales trends for dollar sales than volume.
- Larger companies have an opportunity to drive growth through more effective portfolio-mix management. Large manufacturers should consider expanding into categories with high growth potential through acquisitions or new product development, and should frequently re-evaluate their existing categories to determine and focus on the greatest opportunities.
IRI is continuing to work with BCG to track company performance and ongoing trends shaping the CPG industry. We will update the report annually, and we’re excited to deliver further insight and foresight for our clients and the CPG industry overall. To request a copy of the full study, “The BCG-IRI Momentum Report,” please contact John McIndoe at John.McIndoe@IRIworldwide.com.