PARIS, 17th July 2014 – The Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG International today released the findings of their annual Global Top of Mind Survey. The survey, which polled nearly 500 C-suite and senior executives globally, reveals how important the digital revolution will be over the next 12 months to consumer goods and retail companies – impacting everything from business growth and supply chain management to food safety, sustainability, and data security and privacy.
A shift towards digital
More than any previous year, the focus of executive attention has shifted from economic uncertainty to data, technology and the supply chain. As the consumer demand for digital experiences and ecommerce grows, retailers and manufacturers are looking at how they can meet these needs and operate in this new era of disruptive technology.
Top of the charts – the supply chain
The supply chain was rated by consumer goods and retail executives as the number one challenge for their companies - and is also the most likely to receive increased investment this year.
Sustainability and health driving decisions A significant number of consumer goods and retail leaders also indicated the importance of corporate social responsibility in their plans for the next 12 months through transparency and environmental considerations.
Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum, commented: “This year’s research clearly shows how important digital strategy is to the modern consumer goods industry, as new technologies and new entrants to the market disrupt traditional consumption. Getting this strategy right and acquiring new digital skills will allow businesses to reach out to consumers in new ways, drive growth and enhance other important elements of their businesses; not least when it comes to ensuring a transparent and collaborative end-to-end value chain. The Consumer Goods Forum is already helping members get to grips with these important challenges through our programme of major projects, events and best practice communities”.
Willy Kruh, Global Chair, Consumer Markets KPMG International, added: “The survey results reveal that improving capabilities in the area of data analytics is the number one strategic priority for executives in the consumer space in 2014. At a time when 90% of the data currently available has been generated in the last 2 years, the volume is overwhelming. And while data analytics may be at the top of the corporate agenda, the challenge that should really be keeping companies awake at night is data security. Although 47% of the respondents cited data security as being very or critically important, this is not enough. Companies are still a long way from where they need to be in terms of protecting their client and proprietary information from security breaches. Hackers will always be one step ahead, and companies need to ensure they are not overconfident in their ability to protect themselves.”
Methodology This research report – available at kpmg.com/CMsurvey2014 is the second annual report to be released by The Forum and KPMG. The survey was conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of KPMG and The Consumer Goods Forum during April 2014. 469 C-suite and senior executives were surveyed from food, drink and consumer goods manufacturers and retailers based in 32 countries.