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Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector Analysis Report 

[Key Points | Financial Year '23 | Prospects | FAQ's | Sector Do's and dont's]

Discover: Best Category of Stocks to Ride India Rally

  • Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) is the 4th largest sector in the Indian economy. There are three main segments in the sector – household and personal care which accounts for 50%, healthcare which accounts for 31%, and food and beverages which accounts for 19% of the sector.
  • The urban segment accounts for 55% of the overall revenue generated by the FMCG sector. On the other hand, the rural segment contributes 45% and is growing at a faster pace compared to the urban segment. Demand for quality goods and services has been going up in rural areas, on the back of improved distribution channels of FMCG companies.
  • Growing awareness, easier access and changing lifestyles have been key growth drivers for the sector. Brand consciousness has also aided growth.
  • The Government of India has approved 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the cash and carry segment of the sector along with 51% FDI in multi-brand retail. Global retailers, who are keen to increase their footprint in India can now cash in on the consumption growth story of the country.
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST), launched in 2017, has been beneficial for the FMCG sector. Many of the FMCG products such as soap, toothpaste and hair oil now come under the 18% tax bracket against the previous 23-24% rate. Moreover, rates on food and hygiene products have been reduced to 0-5% and 12-18%, respectively.
  • Despite being one of the fastest growing markets globally for FMCG products, the per capita FMCG consumption in India is still amongst the lowest in the world, giving the industry a long runway for growth.

How to Research the Consumer Products Sector (Key Points)

  • Supply
  • Abundant supply through a distribution network of over 8 m stores across the country. Distribution networks are being strengthened in rural areas.
  • Demand
  • Not being an essential commodity, the demand for consumer products is elastic. Several brands are positioned with narrow product differentiation. However, rising contribution of women to the working force and growing nuclear families have led to higher demand for convenience foods, especially in urban areas.
  • Barriers to entry
  • Huge investments in establishing brand identity and setting up distribution networks.
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Small and fragmented suppliers have limited bargaining power. Larger FMCG companies can negotiate better rates during times of high input cost inflation. Most companies have integrated backwards and have their own supply chains.
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • Rising competition and the onslaught of the e-commerce boom does provide good bargain opportunities for customers. However, on account of a large number of buyers and limited number of suppliers, the bargaining power of consumers is low in the FMCG sector.
  • Competition
  • Competitiveness among Indian FMCG players is high. With more MNCs entering the country, the industry has become highly fragmented. Domestic players feel the competitive pressure from large well established MNCs. Spending on advertisements continues to grow and marketing budgets, as well as strategies, are becoming more aggressive.

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Financial Year '23

  • In FY23, the FMCG sector volumes grew only marginally, reflective of a slowdown as persistent inflation, led by geo-political tensions in Europe and global supply chain disruptions, followed by monetary tightening by central banks, weighed on consumption for the better part of the year.
  • Inflation was one of the key drivers that impacted consumer demand and behavior. Home and Personal Care (HPC) categories were under pressure and exhibited a downward trend, as household budgets of value conscious consumers were constrained by inflationary pressures.
  • Consumers adjusted volumes and prioritized essentials over discretionary to manage their household budgets. While they continued to choose the brands they love, they were seeking value, and in doing so, they traded up and down among brands and across pack sizes.
  • However, as commodity and retail inflation moderated towards the end of the year, volume growth turned positive after five quarters of decline, signaling prospects of a sustained recovery.
  • During the period, urban consumption was steady throughout the year, while rural demand was tepid as it was far more impacted by rising retail inflation. Among the categories, Packaged Foods drove growth for the sector, given lower penetration levels and high urban salience.
  • In terms of trends, FMCG companies expanded into the wellness market, cashing in on the growing market for healthy foods in India. In December 2022, Hindustan Unilever Limited announced its foray into the 'Health & Wellbeing' category through strategic investments in Zywie Ventures Private Limited ("OZiva") and Nutritionalab Private Limited ("Wellbeing Nutrition").
  • In January 2023, ITC announced plans to acquire 100% of Sproutlife Foods, a D2C startup and parent company of health food brand 'Yoga Bar' over a period of three to four years.

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  • Low penetration levels in rural areas offer room for growth across consumption categories. Major FMCG players are focusing on rural markets to increase their penetration in these areas. The rural FMCG market size is expected to touch US$ 220 billion by 2025.
  • Online portals are expected to play a key role for companies trying to enter the hinterlands. The Internet has contributed in a big way, facilitating a cheaper and more convenient means to increase a company's reach. The e-commerce segment is forecast to contribute 11% to the overall FMCG sales by 2030.
  • With the rise in disposable income, mid-and high-income consumers in urban areas have shifted their purchase trends from essential to premium products. There is huge headroom for FMCG companies to grow product portfolios in the premium segment.
  • Indian and multinational FMCG players can leverage India as a strategic sourcing hub for cost-competitive product development and manufacturing to cater to international markets.
  • Tax benefits are expected to increase the disposable income in the hands of the common people, especially in rural areas, which will be beneficial for the sector.
  • Opportunities arising from rapidly emerging digital technologies such as analytics and big data present a chance to make meaningful interventions and develop capabilities across the value chain for FMCG companies.

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FAQs on the FMCG Sector

How has the FMCG sector performed in the past decade and when is a good time to invest in the sector?

In the last decade, the FMCG sector has been relatively stable through various periods of peaks and troughs compared to the rest of the stock market. It has been a consistent performer, rising the most, giving over 200% returns.

As there is a constant demand for FMCG products, stocks from the FMCG sector provide consistent dividends and stable earnings regardless of the state of the overall stock market. For this reason, they are often called defensive stocks and can protect your portfolio during bad times.

However, in a sustained bull run, these stocks will underperform the market. The best time to buy such stocks is when there is a gloomy picture on earnings for manufacturing sectors, higher crude prices and higher interest rates. Since defensive sectors are less prone to the above mentioned risks, they offer lot of value in uncertain times.

To know more about the sector’s past and ongoing performance, have a look at the performance of the NIFTY FMCG Index and BSE FMCG Index.

Where can I find a list of FMCG stocks?

The details of listed FMCG companies can be found on the NSE and BSE website. However, the overload of financial information on these websites can be overwhelming.

For a more direct and concise view of this information, you can check out our list of FMCG stocks.

Which FMCG stocks were the top performers over the last 5 years?

PG Electroplast, IFB Agro Industries and Tata Consumer Products were the top FMCG performers over the last 5 years in terms of sales and profit growth.

PG Electroplast saw its business grow on the back of its established market position in the plastic moulding component business while IFB Agro Industries grew on account of an increase in demand and its conservative financial profile.

Tata Consumer Products also continued to perform well with its strong portfolio of products and focus on profitable growth.

To know which other companies performed well over the last 5 years, use Equitymaster’s stock screener.

What kind of dividend yields do FMCG stocks offer?

FMCG stocks in general have consistent and stable dividend paying track records owing to the asset light business models, low capex requirements, consistency in earnings and strong cash flows.  

With an impressive dividend payout history, investors can expect to earn steady returns on their investments from these stocks.

For more details, check out our list of top FMCG stocks offering high dividend yields.

Which are the FMCG stocks with the best shareholder returns?

Shareholder returns measure the total returns generated by a stock to an investor. This profitability helps gauge a company's effectiveness when it comes to using equity funding to run their daily operations. In the Indian stock market, Marico, HUL and Dabur are the top FMCG stocks right now with the best shareholder returns.

To know which other FMCG stocks offer great return on equity, you can check out the top FMCG stocks offering the best shareholder returns here.   

Which are the best FMCG stocks to invest in currently?

Investing in stocks requires careful analysis of financial data to find out a company's true worth. However, an easier way to find out about a company's performance is to look at its financial ratios.

Two commonly used financial ratios used in the valuation of stocks are -

  • Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) - It compares the company’s stock price with its earnings per share. The higher the P/E ratio, the more expensive the stock.

    To find stocks with favorable P/E Ratios, check out our list of FMCG stocks according to their P/E Ratios
  • Price to Book Value Ratio (P/BV) - It compares a firm's market capitalization to its book value. A high P/BV indicates markets believe the company's assets to be undervalued and vice versa.

    To find stocks with favorable P/E Ratios, check out our list of FMCG stocks according to their P/BV Ratios

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FMCG Stocks Update

The S&P BSE FMCG Index was at 19,396.3 (down 0.9%). The index is down 2.6% over the last 30 days. And over the last 1 year, it has gained 19.7%.

Within the , the top gainers were NATURO INDIABULL (up 8.0%) and PARAMOUNT COSMETICS (up 1.6%). On the other hand, TASTY DAIRY SPECIALITIES (down 5.4%) and MY FAIR LADY (down 4.7%) were among the top losers.

Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P BSE SENSEX was at 72,304.9 (down 1.1%).