Fast Moving Consumer Goods have a short shelf life, are produced at low cost and sold at high volume. They are those products that we casually toss into our shopping cart at our supermarket of choice and tick off our shopping list: veggies, dairy, rice, toilet paper, deodorant, detergent, the occasional Coke or candy bar. However, in low-income communities everything is not that simple. Selling FMCGs at or sourcing them from the BoP is, in fact, a challenging endeavor. Businesses bold enough to do so nonetheless need all the information and support they can get, and it can be difficult to find the right information. Bear in mind that the FMCG topic overlaps significantly with other inclusive business areas such as agri-business, nutrition/health, product innovation, marketing and distribution channels, as well as waste management! Therefore, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. So what points of reference and tools are available to IB players interested in the FMCG sector? We compiled a number of handy tools and informative publications that can be useful to inclusive FMCG business ventures:

  • For starters, the “Guide to Inclusive Business in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Sector” report as well as the FMCG country reports for Egypt and Tunisia, published by IBAN and authored by GlobalCAD, BoP Learning Lab Denmark and endeva.
  • The World Bank’s Global Consumption Database with comprehensive data on household consumption patterns in developing countries and the guide „Global Consumption Data for Inclusive Business, which graphically presents relevant data highlights.
  • McKinsey’s Global Growth Compass database and toolbox that assesses growth and profit opportunities in emerging markets and the report on Consumer Packaged Goods that points out emerging market opportunity for FMCG companies.
  • The SDG Industry Matrix on food, beverages and consumer goods by UN Global Compact and KPMG outlines sector-specific opportunities to create shared value with regard to the SDGs and provides links to further organisations and tools.
  • The BoP Distribution Compass, a decision-making tool developed by the MIT Practical Impact Alliance.
  • The 4A Framework, a useful marketing concept for doing business at the BoP, explained in the context of agricultural innovations by Acumen and Bain & Company.
  • The BoP Innovation Center’s Marketing and Distribution services as an example of support organizations that help Inclusive Businesses with market research, branding, marketing, and last-mile distribution.
  • KPMG’s sector report on FMCG in Africa.

A related, more specific and omnipresent subtopic of FMCG in the inclusive business context is food and agriculture. Here are some relevant sources that can be of value to IB actors in the food and agribusiness sectors:

While this is a hand-picked selection of sources to give you a broad idea of the available resources available on the topic of inclusive business in the FMCG sector, there is plenty more to know and learn. However, there is also plenty of opportunity to achieve real impact at the BoP through the sourcing and distribution of FMCG!

For these, and many more tools, reports and case studies visit SearchInclusiveBusiness.org

This blog is a part of the March 2017 series on how businesses in the FMCG sector are including the BoP in their value chain. Read more here.

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