The long-term trend among Western consumers, now being repeated in emerging markets, is towards greater individualism. People are demanding products that are more tailored to their needs and lifestyles, resulting in ever-more specific offerings from manufacturers. Sub-branding and targeting similar groups across regions is a possible answer to this conundrum.
- An evaluation of how leading companies are segmenting their market on the basis of demographics, psychographics, need states and dayparts.
- A review of NPD across FMCG, with an emphasis on multinationals' mega-brands as well as examples from innovative national players.
- Examples of products that meet a need during a specific daypart or occasion.
- Ideas about which segments might form the next growth areas. For example, lactose/gluten intolerant, diabetics, vegetarian, and halal consumers.
- Conclusions based on the lessons of existing brands highlight the importance of balancing brand portfolios and getting the message to consumers right.
- How can manufacturers target niche consumer groups and yet still maintain economies of scale?
- How do major FMCG companies segment consumers beyond the obvious demographic options?
- How can marketers develop products for the health-conscious consumer?
- What impact is the massive expansion and hollowing out of the middle class having?
More NPD is being targeted at particular need states, but to get brand loyalty and premium pricing the needs have to be specific and valued by consumers - they have to see the product fitting into their lifestyle. The product's benefits and the ingredients that deliver on that promise also have to be clearly explained and communicated to consumers.
The concentric rings of consumers that surround a core group of engaged users mean that the potential of the niche might be greater than expected. This is particularly the case if the niche is found in many countries. There could also be further opportunities for customizable products and direct sales.
Many significant niche groups remain untapped. Halal food already accounts for about a fifth of world food trade and 5% of the annual sales of one of the world's leading FMCG companies. Diabetes, meanwhile, is one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the US food market - a trend that will be replicated in other markets.