New study ranks CPG leaders

May 09, 2013

IRi-Boston Consulting research identifies sales and share winners by size class.

What does it take to be a CPG winner?

According to IRi and Boston Consulting Group, a mix of dollar and volume sales growth and market share gains earn companies spots on their new Top 10 lists in three tiers—small ($100 million to $1 billion in retail sales), midsize ($1 billion to $5 billion), and large (more than $5 billion).

Their data analyses show key trends.  Among large companies:

  • Few large company winners are growing in dollar sales, volume sales and market share.  As a group, large companies have lost 1.4 share points worth more than $10 billion in sales since 2009.
  • To grow, large companies rely on price hikes (which are unlikely to deliver sustainable growth) and wider distribution (though velocity declines). 
  • Based on the three combined growth measures, the Top 10 large companies in 2012 were: Lorillard, Hershey, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola, Altria Group, Unilever, Nestle, Mars, Kimberly-Clark, and Campbell Soup.
  • Of these, Hershey and Anheuser-Busch InBev grew dollar sales at the highest rate in 2012, up 5.3% and 5.2%, respectively. 
  • Just three of the Top 10 grow both innovation and base business.

Among midsize CPG:

  • Midsize winners are increasing dollar and volume sales proportionately, and gaining significant share.
  • Based on the three combined growth measures, the Top 10 midsize companies in 2012 were:  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Chobani, Starbucks, Monster Energy, Red Bull, WhiteWave Foods, BIC, Merck, Spectrum Brands, and Link Snacks.
  • Of these, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (up 69.7%), Chobani (up 46.7%) and Starbucks (up 46.0%) grew dollar sales at the highest rate in 2012.

Among small CPG:

  • Small winners are raising dollar and volume sales, and adding significant market share.
  • Based on the three combined growth measures, the Top 10 small companies in 2012 are:  TalkingRain, Idahoan, Handi-foil, Promotion in Motion, Vogue International, Roll Global, Daisy Brand, Advanced Beauty, National Fish & Seafood, and Clif Bar.
  • Of these, the standout dollar-sales percentage gainer in 2012 was TalkingRain, up 283.3%.

The Lempert Report sees how this study attempts to measure companies by peer size and weight key metrics to determine the large, midsize and small CPG winners.  Since we feel innovation is key to keeping brands relevant with fast-changing consumers, we’d like to see future versions of this study measure its role in CPG success.