The UK is continuing to lag behind its European counterparts when it comes to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) volumes.
A recent Nielsen report highlighted strong FMCG growth across Europe with a 3.8 per cent year-on-year rise in the second quarter of 2014 and a stagnation in the UK. On home soil there was only a marginal improvement of 1.2 per cent which was helped by a 2.3 per cent price inflation but hampered by a 1.1 per cent drop in sales volumes.
It was a much more positive outlook in Europe where the volumes growth was aided by a 2.2 per cent price inflation, the lowest level for over three. Countries on the continent were also boosted by a 1.6 per cent increase in volume sales which had reached the highest rate in three years. It provided encouragement for growth in the future.
Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, Nielsen’s European director of retail insights, says: “These sales figures are impressive, boosted by Easter – when spend typically increases.
"And while we estimate this calendar anomaly accounted for about one per cent of extra volume sales, a ‘normalised’ view is that overall sales value is still up around a healthy 2.8 per cent – which is more positive than it has been recently.”
The figures come as a significant boost to FMCG brands such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble (P&G), which had been looking to tackle price deflation by shifting marketing focus towards brand value and away from promotions. P&G had been putting a lot of effort into improving the innovation behind some of its most well-known brands such as Gillette, Ariel and Pampers.
This strategy has now started to bear fruit as the FMCG sector across Europe begins to pick up and return to a competitive rate.