What special features must management pay attention to in the consumer goods non-food sector?

The food sector is confronted with the concentration of trade, but not with the change in distribution channels, as online purchases still play a minor role in the food sector. With Rewe.de, only one food retailer is represented in the top 25 of German online retailing, yet even Rewe generates less than 1% of its sales online (0.4 billion of 54 billion euros in sales in Germany).

The situation is completely different in the non-food sector, where well over 20% of sales are already generated online. In some segments (generally higher-priced branded products), this figure is well over 50%. In the non-food segment, more than 60 billion euros have been shifted from stationary retail to the online sales channel in recent years. Of this, 53% of German online retail is accounted for by amazon alone, with amazon fresh accounting for only around 1% of sales. Thus, amazon.de sells 99% non-food consumer goods and is thus driving the shift in sales channels.

This means that the management of the non-food consumer goods industry as well as the traditional consumer goods trade must deal intensively with this change and adapt strategies, especially in pricing and distribution policy. Not infrequently, however, adjustments in product policy and communication are also necessary in order to respond to the changed distribution channels, as consumers have greatly changed their search behavior and purchasing decisions in recent years. For this reason, executives cannot avoid active change management processes. We are looking for executives with the ability to analyze changes and to react adequately to the new market conditions.

By Daniel Frankenberg

Executive Search Consultant for consumer goods / FMCG (non food), retail, outdoor & lifestyle, packaging materials

As Director Executive Search, Daniel Frankenberg is responsible for the sectors consumer goods / FMCG (non food), retail, outdoor & lifestyle and packaging throughout Europe from his office in Berlin. Daniel Frankenberg has more than 20 years of operational top management experience in purchasing, sales and marketing functions within the consumer goods industry and retail.