What will be the continuing impact of the development of housebrands by retailers, and the current heightened value awareness of consumers? Most FMCG suppliers lose sleep over the retailers undermining their profitability by hogging shelf space with far cheaper imitations of their brands, brought to market overnight without much concern about the long term health and development of the category, but delivering short term profitability to them at the expense of their suppliers.
This apparent duplicity, retailers demanding innovation and category building activity from their suppliers, whilst undermining their ability and willingness to invest has to have its limits. Clearly, the old mass market model of branding is over, but what has replaced it?
Increasingly I see the evolution of focused brands and retailers serving the more niche markets, and segments of larger markets where something different is being delivered to customers. Retailers are enabling a new breed of supplier with deep category expertise to emerge at the expense of the older mass market model, and they are in turn fuelling the growth of specialist retailers.