New Report Reveals Food & Beverage Industry in Flux, Why CPGs Need to Quickly Embrace Innovation Growth Strategies

Declining Packaged Food Volumes Signal Need for CPGs to Re-Balance Portfolios

Feb 21, 2013, 06:00 ET from Hartman Strategy

BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After decades of steady and predictable market conditions, iconic food and beverage leaders are struggling to adapt to a new, innovation-dependent era of growth, according to a new report from Hartman Strategy, an innovation and strategy consultancy serving major food and beverage companies.

The report, entitled Post-Modern Strategies for Growth in the U.S. Market, is authored by James Richardson, a top executive at Hartman Strategy.

Top Line Findings within Report

Written specifically for top executives within the consumer packaged goods industry (CPGs), the 10-page report provides industry data and expert insights that reveal:

  • a small but very powerful group of affluent and educated U.S. consumers who are driving and, ultimately, re-structuring the future of packaged goods in the U.S.
  • why the very top and bottom tiers of the food market, and not the middle, represent the greatest sustainable growth opportunities for CPGs
  • why, in a mature market with weak growth in most categories, food and beverage leaders need to innovate new lines of business to sustain any growth
  • the need for major CPGs to adopt new models of corporate strategy and governance to allow for a brand agnostic, fund manager mindset to spread throughout their organizations

"The food and beverage industry has clearly entered a period of disruptive change and some of its largest players not only need to innovate but re-balance their portfolios to sustain growth for their stakeholders," said Richardson.

Other Key Data and Findings Reviewed within Report

The new report also provides expert commentary and analysis on current data and reports circulating within the industry including:

  • 70 percent of all food and beverage categories failed to generate sustained volumetric growth in the U.S. over the past two years
  • a relentless decline in dozens of staple food categories including frozen entrees and canned soup, despite sustained population growth
  • what long term social trends data reveal about the upper middle class and its economic impact on both the "old" and "new" world food and beverage economies
  • the structural underdevelopment of innovative upmarket offerings at the retail level, leading to the need for greater partnership between CPG manufacturers and mainstream retail customers
  • the industry's excessive interest in downmarket, value-oriented growth strategies is neither sustainable, financially, nor sufficient to sustain topline growth

"Historically, the largest food and beverage companies have been slow-moving and methodical – in large part because that was the safe way to operate in a market with multiple, structural tailwinds," said Richardson. "The tailwinds of yesteryear are gone. That era is clearly over and these same companies now need to become more strategic and nimble, more like the investors they give their earnings call to each quarter. We believe that this report will be a catalyst for change among major CPGs."

A full copy of the report is available at no cost at the Hartman Strategy website at

About Hartman Strategy

Hartman Strategy works exclusively with the largest and most-respected food and beverage companies to identify, create and seize growth opportunities that align with America's constantly evolving food culture. Hartman Strategy consultants partner with senior executives to develop long-term, incremental growth strategies that enable each client to capitalize on both current and emerging market demand.  The company is singularly-focused on the food and beverage industry and provide clients with access to three decades of research on eating behavior, consumer demand, and business strategy.  Our core capabilities include: corporate innovation strategy; analysis of market trends in U.S. food culture; and M&A/investment guidance on early-stage food and beverage companies. More information on the company can be viewed online at

Dan Branley (206) 914-1231


SOURCE Hartman Strategy