Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What is the Consumer Goods Forum?

Chief Executive Officers and senior managers at consumer packaged goods companies always have the interests of shoppers in mind. What are consumers buying? What motivates them to purchase the items they place in their cart? To better understand shoppers and improve the way CPG companies meet the needs of consumers, a group of executives from across the globe created a collaborative alliance called the Consumer Goods Forum.

The international member-driven organization started in 1953 as the CIES (Comité International d’Entreprises à Succursales, or the International Committee of Food Retail Chains). In 2009, CIES united with the Food Business Forum, the Global Commerce Initiative, and the Global CEO Forum to form the Consumer Goods Forum.

Today, the Forum has grown to encompass 2,400 members from 650 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and stakeholders from 70 countries. Members consist of manufacturers like Kellogg's and Hormel Foods, associations such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, retailers including SUPERVALU and Wal-Mart, and service providers like Daymon Worldwide. The Forum is governed by its Board of Directors, which includes an equal number of manufacturer and retailer CEOs and chairpersons.

According to the organization's website, together, Forum members are able to:
  • Join forces on non-competitive matters
  • Exchange knowledge and industry information
  • Set a strategic vision that delivers sustainable growth and creates value for retailers, manufacturers, and their suppliers by delivering better goods and services to consumers
  • Enhance and protect the reputation of the industry to attract and retain the talent and resources needed for success
The Consumer Goods Forum offers a wide range of programs and initiatives, including events and meetings like the Global Food Safety Conference and the Global Marketing Forum to discuss best practices. They have also worked to improve issues and share best practices in the areas of sustainability, health and wellness, and operational excellence. In addition, the Forum established a Future Leaders Program designed to develop young professionals as they transition into senior management roles within their companies and the CPG industry.

Last month, the group met in London for their annual Global Summit to outline their strategies for success in a post-recession, consumer-led spending environment. Leaders discussed how the industry can meet the needs of the world's ever more knowledgeable and demanding consumers.

To learn more about the Consumer Goods Forum, visit the association's website or view this comprehensive PDF outlining the Forum's vision, mission, and strategy.

Were you familiar with the Consumer Goods Forum before today? If your company is involved, I'd like to hear more about your company's participation. Drop me a line and tell me how you've benefited from the Consumer Goods Forum.

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