What Are Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)? (Plus Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Fast-moving consumer goods are perishable goods that consumers buy regularly. These types of goods cover a wide variety of products, such as personal care items, food and beverages with a short shelf-life and articles of clothing. Learning what these consumer goods are and how they can affect the industry can help you determine if this is the career path for you. In this article, we discuss what fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are, including various examples of these products and what you can expect when working in this industry.

What is FMCG?

FMCG are products that consumers buy quickly at a relatively low cost, which means businesses often replace these products daily or weekly. These goods also have a short shelf-life. This means that if the product doesn't sell, they're disposed of and replaced with fresh products. Short shelf-life products can include milk, bread and meat. You can often buy these products in large quantities and they can remain at a relatively low price for consumers. These products have a low-profit margin with high-volume sales. A low-profit margin means a business has a low margin of safety.

A low margin of safety is when a company withstands more of a likelihood that a decrease in sales of these consumer goods can create a net loss or a loss in profits. These products differ from slow-moving consumer goods (SMCG) because consumers buy those products less frequently, such as furniture. You can motivate consumers to buy these goods when you speed up the sales. You can encourage consumers to purchase these goods quickly by offering bulk sales or lower prices that make them wish to purchase these products right away.

Examples of fast-moving consumer goods

These goods are a unique industry that requires a competitive advantage in branding, manufacturing, logistics and marketing. Here are some examples of fast-moving consumer goods for you to review:

Cereals, grains and kinds of wheat

Most individuals have fast-moving consumer products in their households, such as cereals, grains and kinds of wheat. These goods are in high demand among consumers. If you desire to start a business or find work in this type of industry, including these types of products, can help you succeed in your venture.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are some of the most perishable consumer goods available, making them a challenging product to distribute and sell for a profit. The increasing population and large migration of individuals going from rural to urban living mean a higher demand for these types of food products. Fruits and vegetables make up a large portion of consumers' food budgets, as it's necessary to sell these products quickly. This can make their cost higher than other types of these products.

Fish and meat

Both fish and meat are a large part of consumers' diets. They're rich in proteins and provide nutrients you can't get from other foods. While many individuals are switching to a more plant-based diet, the desire for fish and meat is still high. Many consumers spend a significant portion of their food budget on these goods. Job opportunities in this sector range from aquaculture and agribusiness to value addition, such as transforming meat into sausage. Several individuals consume fish and meat, so you can find this type of good in many households.

Other edible consumer goods

Other edible consumer goods you can find on the market include items, such as margarine, spices, sugar and chocolates. These edible goods can also take up a considerable amount of one's food budget. While these products aren't as perishable as other types of these goods, they still require quick consumption.

Non-alcoholic beverages

The beverage industry comprises hot drinks and soft drinks that you can buy at different shopping outlets. Hot drinks include tea and coffee, while soft drinks include juice, mineral water, soda, carbonated water and packaged fruit drinks. Most households spend a considerable amount on non-alcoholic beverages, which are examples of this type of good.

Dairy products

Demand for a wide range of dairy products is increasing around the globe because of changes in diets, population and urbanisation. Dairy products are a type of consumer good that individuals consume daily. Since there is a high demand for dairy products, there may be more job opportunities in this industry. Consider becoming a production manager for a corporation or earning a role as a dairy farm plant controller.

Personal care items

Personal care products range from items like cosmetics and soaps to oral care and fragrances. Households and businesses use these types of these products, and they frequently require replenishing. It's easy to find industries that require the regular consumption of personal care products. Examples include salons, barbershops, childcare facilities and nursing homes.

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Tobacco

In households where family members smoke, consumers spend a significant amount of money on tobacco products. It's one part of the industries you can consider when searching for employment. Consider working in a smoke shop or another tobacco-related field.

Alcoholic beverages

Many individuals drink an alcoholic beverage or two weekly. This type of consumer good can be expensive, especially when consumed in a bar or other food and drink-related establishment. This industry provides many professionals with jobs, including at places like pubs, bars, wineries and entertainment venues.

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Additional fast-moving consumer goods

You can find other examples of these goods, such as baked goods, electronics, clothing, over-the-counter medications, office supplies, toiletries and cleaning products. These are all consumer products that are required to be kept relatively fresh, as they go bad. The only exception can be electronics because they don't expire, but to remain up-to-date with the latest technology, individuals want to purchase the latest technology to replace the ones they already own.

What to expect when working in this type of industry

You can apply for a role in a firm that someone has recommended to you or if you desire to change your career. If you're going to work in this industry, it's important to have a comprehensive understanding of what it may entail. Here are some examples of what to expect when working in this industry:

An industry with popular name brands

One factor you can expect to find when you're in this industry is that you can work with several popular brand names, familiar to many households. These roles can offer you career and skill advancement opportunities. It can also allow you to improve your CV if you desire to change roles later.

A wide variety of employment prospects

When you're searching for a job in this industry, there are several roles and key skills professionals are required to have, which means you're likely to find a position that fits your interests. For example, if you prefer marketing or business-related roles, you can use job search websites, such as Indeed, to help you narrow down your options based on your interests and skills in this field. Much like the consumer goods industry, this industry is fast-paced, making it essential that you thrive in this type of work environment.

Related: Career Prospects for Financial Planning and Analysis

Fast career progression

In this industry, you may experience fast career progression. Consider your career goals and where you may ideally like to be in your career in the next few years. If you desire to work in an industry where you can work hard to move up in the company, consider working in this field. This may also require you to be a quick and creative thinker because the products sell faster. For example, if products that primarily sell quickly are suddenly experiencing a drop in sales, it's important to act quickly and think of solutions to remedy the challenge.

Related: What Is a Career? (Plus Tips for Career Advancement)

An innovative industry

Some ways that you can be innovative in this industry are by brainstorming new solutions or ideas to encourage consumers to purchase a product. This can include developing new products, creating new packaging or designing new marketing plans to increase sales. Innovation can also elevate a brand's image. If consumers have a favourable opinion of the brand, they're more likely to purchase from them than a brand with a less favourable reputation.

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