IRI's inside track
Global FMCG analysts IRI gives you key insight into the trends and issues facing the food sector.
The spat between Unilever and Tesco in the UK over price grabbed the headlines last week but, across Europe, for different reasons, price remains a critical issue for the FMCG sector. Consumers remain price sensitive despite improving economic conditions and are wasting less, meaning growth is hard to come by. IRI's Anne Lefranc looks at ways suppliers and retailers could work together to drive sales and profits.
The rate at which food products are launched in the UK has been declining. Tim Eales, director of strategic insight at IRI, suggests why manufacturers may have held back from innovating but argues they must be bold - and offers advice on how the innovative can succeed.
Tim Eales, director of strategic insight at IRI, dips into the analyst firm's latest data on FMCG private label in western Europe and looks at how own-label is faring against national brands in the region.
Ramadan begins next week, a month when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset but outside those hours prepare meals with plenty of food. However, in many markets, the halal sector is in growth year-round. Jacques Dupré, director for insights at IRI, looks at manufacturers and grocers can serve a growing market for halal food in France, one of the countries with the highest Muslim populations in Europe.
Europe's recent economic woes may have dampened enthusiasm for the region but IRI believes there are numerous ways to grow for food manufacturers.
Discount retailers are a major force in grocery retailing in a number of European markets, forcing supermarkets to adapt and prompting suppliers to revise their strategies in a number of areas. However, in a guest column for just-food, José Carlos González-Hurtado, the former Carrefour chief commercial officer who is now president of international at IRI, outlines why there could be limits to the growth of the discounters.
Are promotions leading to increased sales in Europe's major grocery markets? IRI's Jacques Dupré analyses how discounts are affecting sales, finding a mixed picture, and warns manufacturers of the dangers of sustained high levels of promotion.
The economic turmoil in Greece has been one of the biggest business stories of the year. But what kind of effects has the crisis had on the ground? How have shoppers reacted? IRI's Panagiotis Boretos investigates.
It is time for food manufacturers across Europe to take a more sophisticated approach to range optimisation, Stephanie Augier, European analytics and shopper account director at IRI, argues.
Falling prices in a number of European markets have dampened sales growth in chilled and fresh food. With consumer confidence on the rise in countries like the UK, there could be further pressure on sales, with shoppers looking to eat out more, while range reviews by retailers are also putting the squeeze on some segments. IRI's Sarah Pittock weighs up the outlook for the sectors.
Despite signs economic conditions in Europe are improving, competition on price remains fierce in a number of markets. However, manufacturers must use more weapons that just simply price in their quest for growth, IRI's Jacques Dupré argues.
Digital media is becoming the marketing method of choice for FMCGs, Carl Carter of industry analysts IRI writes. But can manufacturers truly measure if digital media is helping drive shoppers on the path to purchase?
The economic performance of markets in Europe was mixed in 2014 and signs of recovery are hard to find in a number of countries. The impact on FMCG sales has been suitably varied. IRI's Tim Eales crunches the numbers to pull out the key trends and suggests some optimism of stronger volumes in 2015.
Private label is now a mature market - one that has grown quickly over recent years to a position of some strength in the European FMCG industry. A force to be reckoned with, traditionally private label has helped consumers reduce their weekly shopping bills and provide retailers with an extra opportunity to boost sales and grow margin.
In such a price-focused environment, manufacturers will need to find innovative ways to grow in 2015. Data, IRI's Anne Lefranc argues, will be central to these strategies.
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