Small is Sexy in CPG

May 25, 2017

If you are Canadian and you like Dad’s cookies or Skippy peanut butter, you’re out of luck. CPG giants, Mondelez and Hormel, are pulling them off the shelves. It’s a sign of our times – consumers are migrating from the preserved and “sodiumed” center of grocery stores towards the fresh and organic periphery, spending +74% more time there compared to last year. 


Here’s the challenge and the opportunity: Dad’s and Skippy are big, profitable businesses with strong household penetration, brand awareness and loyal consumers. In the world of multinational CPG, big isn’t enough – to survive, a brand must be big and growing OR too big to fail. As a brand marketer in a large organization, we starve small brands to feed larger ones and achieve higher ROI. With challenges like this one across your portfolio, it is easy to feel like a triage nurse instead of a marketing director. in CPG today, scale has become a burden rather than an advantage.


That’s why small is sexy in CPG. Smaller companies innovate faster, adapt with more agility, are intuitively on trend and don’t require the same degree of scale to be successful. Leading the marketing function in a smaller CPG organization feels a lot more like working in a maternity ward – everyone is growing and hungry! Who do I feed first? 


Personally, I’d rather work in maternity than triage any day of the week. I encourage CPG companies, with the capacity to make a better cookie and a fresher peanut butter, to consider these brand exits as opportunities. 


Consumers will thank you. 


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