Gama spoke to Alex Baron, Commercial Director, Panrico.
What are your day to day activities?
The commercial department has to act as driver for the company and ensure all our activities are aligned, in order to enable the business to develop in a profitable way.
What key trends do you expect to shape food and drink innovation in 2014?
There are four main trends. Firstly, innovation will be geared towards products that are more nutritionally beneficial and also sustainable, with greater attention to the ingredients used. Secondly, the indulgence and pleasure trend will develop, with companies appealing to consumers’ emotions. Thirdly, format adaptation (smaller pack sizes) targeting small households will help consumers to economize. Finally, prices will be kept in check.
What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
Companies need to be increasingly oriented to the market and the consumer. They should develop their brands and make them more accessible. Innovation needs to be selective. Costs need to be controlled – companies should not incur costs for things which do not offer value for the consumer.
Which markets or consumer groups currently offer the greatest growth opportunities for FMCG companies?
In terms of consumers, there are two important groups: seniors, because of the aging population and their greater purchasing power; and consumers with specific dietary needs.
How do companies best achieve growth in developed or saturated markets?
By identifying new opportunities through a thorough understanding of their market and their customer. By adapting to consumer needs that are constantly evolving, in particular bearing in mind changed consumer behaviour brought on by the economic crisis.
From a marketing perspective, how is the way companies are looking to reach and engage with consumers changing? How can a brand successfully resonate with consumers?
Companies need to constantly question whether their value proposition, and how they communicate it to the consumer, is optimized, and what changes they need to make to ensure that remains the case.