China's FMCG market showing resilience
China's fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market showed resilience with 3.6 percent year-on-year growth during the first three quarters in 2022, outpacing the nation's gross domestic product growth in the second and third quarters, the first time since 2020, a report showed.
The expanded volume of 5.9 percent from last year is regarded as a major contributor of the sector's value growth, according to joint research released by Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel on Thursday.
"Pandemic-fueled stockpiling behaviors are a likely cause, with volume rising across all sectors," said Bruno Lannes, a partner at Bain & Company based in Shanghai. "Overall, China's FMCG market demonstrated some buoyancy in rough waters, signaling there is hope for the months and years ahead."
The consultancies analyzed 26 key categories spanning the four largest consumer goods sectors, or packaged food, beverages, personal care, and home care.
Among them, packaged food and home care took the lead in growth during the first three quarters due to COVID-19 led stockpiling and heightened health and hygiene concerns.
For instance, packaged food alone saw 7.4 percent growth in value in the first three quarters this year, with volume and average selling price (ASP) up 4.6 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. Home care reported similar pandemic-related gains as packaged food, and witnessed a 6 percent value increase, 5.4 percent volume raise and ASP of 0.6 percent.
Beverages also did well. Despite an ASP decline of 3 percent, its value increased 4.1 percent in the first nine months, and its volume grew to 7.2 percent.
Personal care, however, showed a reversed trend with a slight increase of 0.7 percent in volume, its value dropped 1.9 percent, and ASP declined 2.5 percent. Cosmetics categories drove this plunge, and the pandemic provided the push, the report explained.
"While seeking more value-for-money products seems to be a common trend, food and beverage saw a volume increase with consumers stocking up on larger pack size items. Personal care and home care, on the other hand, saw a shift toward less expensive products and channels." said Jason Yu, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel in China.
"2023 is likely to remain volatile, resuming some of the trends we have witnessed in 2022 while seeing improvement in others. However, we do see a gradual relaxation of COVID-19 curbs taking place in China, bringing back some consumer confidence," said Derek Deng, a partner at Bain & Company based in Shanghai.
According to Deng, there are other fundamental reasons to be optimistic as well. China's FMCG industry has demonstrated remarkable resilience in the first three quarters, as both brands and consumers have honed their adaptability to changing circumstances. "If FMCG companies can keep their fingers on the pulse of consumer needs and remain nimble, they can chart a path towards healthy performance," Deng added.