Over the past five years, the global packaged food market posted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just below 2% in constant value terms, averaging out a steep drop in growth in 2008 and 2010 due to the global economic downturn and the bounce back in 2011 and 2012.
A number of factors negatively impacted global growth, including steeply rising commodity prices, stagnation in GDP and ageing populations in developed markets.
The companies with the strongest emerging market presence have seen the strongest growth. Nestlé has been among the most successful multinationals at establishing strong positions in fragmented emerging markets. Meanwhile, local players such as China Mengniu Dairy have leapt up the rankings on the back of domestic market demand to become top 20 players in packaged food globally.
Growth in the top five players' retail value sales has not followed the market's fluctuating growth pattern, and although there was a slowdown in 2009, their strategies sustained positive global year-on-year growth.
Companies have been very active at aligning their businesses to key trends through acquisitions and active portfolio development, as well as significant corporate restructuring. The splitting up of operations has given companies the flexibility to address distinct growth priorities, as well as to concentrate resources on business development in a more targeted manner.
In response to the growing health and wellness trend, the packaged foods industry is expected to focus more of its new product development and marketing funds on foods that offer health benefits.
Consumer interest in disease prevention and food as medicine should benefit a number of products, including many functional foods, organic foods and fresh produce.
In the coming years, companies are expected to be more attuned to the aging population and will increase new product development and marketing that targets this population segment.
For more information on the global packaged foods market, see the latest research: Global Packaged Foods Market
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