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Growth Champions: The Battle for Sustained Innovation Leadership by

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CHAPTER 7

Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble: Making the most of insight

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The world of ‘fast-moving consumer goods’ (or FMCG) in Europe or consumer packaged goods (CPG) in North America has long been characterized by soap powders, cosmetics, and shampoos. But if you look at the largest FMCG companies today you can see that the range of products has become far broader than that. Although Colgate Palmolive is largely all about toothpaste, soaps, and deodorants, Unilever stretches from tea and ice cream to bleach and shower gel. Henkel's portfolio encompasses hairspray and glue. Procter & Gamble covers everything from shavers and hairdryers to batteries and perfumes and Reckitt Benckiser stretches from mosquito repellant to air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. Between them, these five companies control the majority of the non-food consumables market and dominate global advertising. Although sharing the same customers, they each have their own unique products. Other than the Procter & Gamble merger with Gillette, there has been limited major consolidation in the sector but there have been quite a number of tactical acquisitions of brands and small companies. In terms of growth overall, the businesses with a better balance of emerging and developed markets are just beginning to translate this into better results.

It's difficult to stand out in the FMCG sector. The five top companies ...

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