'It's a tough time for marketers working for manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), not just in Ireland but around the globe'. (Stock picture)
‘It’s a tough time for marketers working for manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), not just in Ireland but around the globe’. (Stock picture)

It’s a tough time for marketers working for manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), not just in Ireland but around the globe. For most of them, particularly those supplying their wares to the cut-throat retail sector, growth has been at best sluggish and at worst non-existent.

In the USA, for example, sales of FMCG goods at bricks-and-mortar retail stores for the first quarter of 2017 were nearly $3bn (€2.7bn) lower than in the same period in 2016. While some of this decline is attributable to consumers shifting a chunk of their shopping online, a large part of the blame can be placed on the deflationary pressures that have ominously gripped hold of large chunks of the FMCG market, leading many of the big retail names into what seems like a zero-sum battle for the wallets of shoppers.

It’s also being reflected in the share prices of many FMCG manufacturers around the world as the struggle to become more innovative and cost-effective gathers pace. For many of them, however, battling the deflationary pressures within the market is an uphill struggle.

Deflation has also hit these shores, with FMCG manufacturers in both Ireland and the UK feeling the pinch. According to figures from research firm Nielsen, the value of FMCG sales in the Republic of Ireland were up a modest 1.5pc in the year to date, to €16.4bn.

This compares with £150bn (€171bn) in the UK, a 1.4pc increase, while in the North the market was up 3.7pc to €3.7bn.

While the volume of FMCG sales in the Republic were also up by a modest 2.7pc, according to Nielsen, when it came to across-the-board actual prices, the deflationary impact can be seen in an overall 1.3pc decrease.

And if you strip out the impact of the price hikes in a pack of cigarettes, this deflationary trend points to a 1.9pc decrease.

So FMCG marketers have every…