Explore Top 10 FMCG Trends & Innovations in 2024

How is technology impacting the FMCG sector in 2024? Dive into our in-depth industry research on the top 10 FMCG trends based on our analysis of 3000+ companies. These trends span from eco-friendly practices and improved customer interactions to the use of artificial intelligence and direct-to-consumer distribution models!

The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry is undergoing a significant transformation in response to the demand for more convenience, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changes in customer behavior. The major FMCG trends that address these changes involve sustainable product development and packaging, solutions improving customer experience, and digitization.

To offer a better customer experience and gain a competitive edge, FMCG companies seek omnichannel sales and e-commerce in addition to deploying big data, analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. The Internet of Things (IoT) devices and 3D Printing technology further enable FMCG companies to enhance direct distribution to meet the growing customer expectations.

This article was published in February 2021 and updated in January 2024.

Innovation Map outlines the Top 10 FMCG Industry Trends & 20 Promising Startups

For this in-depth research on the Top FMCG Trends & Startups, we analyzed a sample of 3011 global startups & scaleups. This data-driven research provides innovation intelligence that helps you improve strategic decision-making by giving you an overview of emerging technologies in the FMCG industry. In the FMCG Industry Map, you get a comprehensive overview of the innovation trends & startups that impact your company.

10 Emerging FMCG Trends in 2024

  1. Sustainability
  2. Customer Experience
  3. Digitalization
  4. FMCG E-Commerce
  5. Big Data & Analytics
  6. Artificial Intelligence
  7. Direct Distribution
  8. Internet of Things
  9. Blockchain
  10. 3D Printing

 

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These insights are derived by working with our Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally. As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant technologies and industry trends quickly & exhaustively.

Tree Map reveals the Impact of the Top 10 Trends in the FMCG Industry (2024)

Based on the FMCG Innovation Map, the Tree Map below illustrates the impact of the Top 10 FMCG Industry Trends in 2024. Innovations in the FMCG industry meet the growing consumer demand for convenience, sustainability, and engaging experiences. The permeation of smartphones globally also pushes the digitization and growth of eCommerce, driving companies towards implementing technologies such as AI, Big Data, IoT, Blockchain, and 3D Printing.

FMCG brands adapt product development, manufacturing, and packaging to meet consumer demand for sustainable processes and improved convenience. Online shops open new avenues for data management and analytics that further increase revenues for FMCG companies. For example, a growing number of brands directly distribute and sell to their customers via online channels, thus reducing logistics costs.

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Global Startup Heat Map covers 3011 FMCG Startups & Scaleups

The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the global distribution of the 3011 exemplary startups & scaleups that we analyzed for this research. Created through the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, the Heat Map reveals high startup activity in the US, followed by the UK and France. Below, you get to meet 20 out of these 3011 promising startups & scaleups as well as the solutions they develop. These FMCG startups are hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, & more. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.

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Interested to explore all 3000+ FMCG startups & scaleups?

 

Top 10 FMCG Technology Trends in 2024

1. Sustainability in FMCG

Climate change awareness is growing among consumers, leading to a shift in their preferences. They now gravitate towards companies that prioritize social responsibility and offer sustainable product choices. FMCG companies are responding by rethinking their packaging and product materials.

Compostable, recyclable, and reusable packaging is becoming a standard offering from FMCG companies. There is also an increase in the use of cruelty-free and vegan ingredients in both food and non-food items. Simultaneously, energy-efficient manufacturing and renewable energy sources are being adopted to reduce carbon footprints.

Flexi-Hex produces Plastic-Free Packaging

UK-based startup Flexi-Hex produces environmentally sustainable packaging that allows FMCG companies to reduce the amount of packaging waste. The startup offers adaptable, plastic-free solutions with its patented honeycomb design made from recycled paper. The startup aims to remove plastic from the packaging industry and raise awareness of the threat that plastics pose to the oceans.

Vegshelf develops a Digital Platform for Healthy Products

German startup Vegshelf develops a digital business-to-business (B2B) platform connecting healthy, vegan FMCG brands with online stores, supermarkets, and food services. The platform enables round-the-clock exposure and direct access to buyers. Vegshelf shortens the sales cycle, in turn, enabling FMCG brands to build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers.

2. Customer Experience

With the demand for convenience increasing in the FMCG sector, companies strive to significantly improve customer experiences. Startups employ Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to make products more engaging and interactive. 3D videos and gamification attract and entertain customers while providing them with more information about the product. Further, investing in improving customer experiences builds trust and increases brand loyalty. To this end, more and more FMCG companies are providing higher convenience with digital technologies.

Chekkit offers a Consumer Intelligence Solution

Nigerian startup Chekkit offers a consumer intelligence solution to improve customer engagement. The solution brings FMCG companies closer to those buying their products through personalized messaging and communication. Chekkit also enables FMCG companies to push product surveys and messages to consumers based on their purchase behaviors. Further, the solution runs automated reward campaigns and drives repeat purchases using loyalty programs.

DRNKAR develops AR Solutions for FMCG

Singaporean startup DRNKAR’s solutions are AR Social Media, an AR Mobile App & AR Platform. AR Social Media entices shoppers through ads and social media activity and redirects them to make a purchase on the website. The AR Mobile App offers 2D and 3D animation to display extended product details while the AR Platform enables FMCG companies to control and manage their content and product information, as well as get insights into consumer behavior. Overall, the startup’s solutions enable FMCG companies to create memorable customer experiences and improve consumer engagement.

3. Digitalization

Digital transformation is gaining momentum in the FMCG sector. Brands are establishing connections with customers through a variety of online and offline channels. Companies get access to valuable data from these sources, including various social media platforms, web, and mobile applications- driving FMCG digital trends. Besides, it also allows FMCG brands to better engage with their customers and convert one-time buyers into repeat customers.

Gladminds builds a Customer Connect Platform

Indian startup Gladminds offers a cloud-based platform that acts as a two-way communication channel between brands and customers. Gladminds’ Connected Platform allows companies to leverage their brand experience and create value for the customer.

For example, the startup enables optimizing and personalizing services, marketing, and communication, among other functions. This connects brands with consumers and ensures prolonged product support and engagement.

Repeat develops a Smart Replenishment Platform

US-based startup Repeat provides a Smart Replenishment platform to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. The startup powers frictionless reordering experiences that are easy from the customer end and increase revenue for companies. The solution analyzes order data to determine baseline replenishment intervals and automates replenishment workflows to increase operational efficiency.

4. FMCG e-Commerce

E-commerce in the FMCG sector is witnessing a surge in both B2C and B2B sales. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift, altering consumer shopping habits towards online channels. Brands are enhancing their online presence to increase consumer engagement.

Social media platforms, such as Instagram, are becoming significant e-commerce players, with an increasing number of items sold via these platforms. FMCG startups are utilizing diverse media, including mobile and headless commerce, for product marketing. Additionally, the integration of advanced analytics into e-commerce systems enables accurate demand forecasting, leading to optimized stock levels and reduced waste for FMCG companies.

Crystallize offers a Headless e-Commerce Solution

Norwegian startup Crystallize provides an application programming interface (API)-driven e-commerce platform for subscription-based business models. The startup’s software delivers APIs for product information and content management to digitize the sales process.

Headless content management is powered by a semantically structured content engine. This enables brands to build and deliver content in different languages, market and sell their products online, and offer product subscriptions.

Squarelovin offers Social Commerce Solutions

German startup Squarelovin offers solutions for Instagram analytics, social commerce, and visual marketing. The startup enables brands to boost their e-commerce and visual content strategy with user-generated content to build marketing campaigns, grow engagement, and increase conversion rates.

For example, brand-related content from Instagram can be placed on all channels, including websites, other social media channels, newsletters, and offline media.

5. Big Data & Analytics

Big data is revolutionizing the FMCG industry, providing valuable insights into customer behavior. As online shopping grows, brands are leveraging this data to enhance customer relationships. FMCG analytics offer a deeper understanding of purchasing habits, driving product development.

These technologies also enable market trend forecasting, aiding strategic planning. Lastly, real-time data analysis ensures efficient supply chain management, from product distribution to inventory control.

Zhimatech develops a Consumer-based Data Platform

Chinese startup Zhimatech builds a consumer-based data operation platform taking into account offline behavior data within shopping centers. Through its Re-ID technique, the startup accurately analyzes traffic flow within shopping malls.

Combined with online data, Zhimatech creates customer composition insights. The startup also monitors on-site traffic distribution and helps determine the value of individual shops. Further, this data is used to guide marketing activities from planning to promotion.

Massive provides a Consumer Reviews Analytics Solution

Italian startup Massive develops a consumer reviews analytics solution. The company leverages AI to monitor e-commerce websites to read and understand consumer feedback. The data collected provides FMCG companies with insights that support consumer-centric business strategies.

 

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6. AI in FMCG

AI-powered solutions, such as machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) are transforming the FMCG industry. Voice-based systems offer round-the-clock support, assisting consumers in product discovery. Recommendation engines, another AI application, deliver personalized product suggestions, enhancing the customer experience.

The integration of chatbots and virtual assistants into customer service platforms ensures immediate, efficient support, bolstering brand loyalty. Further, AI contributes to the predictive maintenance of manufacturing equipment, reducing downtime and boosting productivity.

Letmetalk offers Conversational AI Solutions

Canadian startup Letmetalk provides AI-powered chatbots to drive up sales and customer satisfaction. The automated system allows for smooth and personalized marketing, as well as conversations with more than one client at a time. The startup enables FMCG companies to make contact and build relationships with potential customers and improve conversion rates.

C-gence offers Consumer Intelligence

C-gence is a Polish startup that develops an AI-based solution to provide consumer intelligence. It is a web-based real-time receipt scanner that captures receipt data without manual data entry. This way, the solution allows FMCG brands to launch consumer activations faster and at a lower cost while reducing barriers to entry. This eliminates fraud and offers more complete consumer data for real-time segmentation, analytics, trends, and reporting.

7. Direct-to-Consumer Distribution

Direct distribution is becoming a popular strategy among FMCG companies, aiming to boost customer loyalty and growth. Manufacturers are establishing direct interactions with end customers via their own distribution channels, both online and offline. This strategy not only increases profit margins but also provides consumers with a direct link to their preferred brands.

The trend of direct distribution in the FMCG industry aligns with the growth of e-commerce and the widespread use of smartphones and the internet. By reducing reliance on intermediaries, this approach offers cost benefits and pricing flexibility.

Ivy creates a Sales and Direct Distribution Platform

Singaporean startup Ivy builds an AI- and ML-powered platform to automate sales and distribution in the FMCG industry. The solution enables companies to enhance their customer experience, increase shelf revenue, and improve the productivity of their field force.

Ivy offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) solution where users can manage stock, complete in-store selling, and process orders. The solutions support multiple types of sales channels simultaneously.

Merlin Tech Labs works on Cloud-based Mobile Solutions

Indian startup Merlin Tech Labs creates a cloud-based SaaS application to support Direct-to-Customer (D2C) distribution. The app enables field sales teams to sell and deliver more goods to people using optimized routes. Further, the app manages sales and transactions, generates reports, and notifies customers when the order is placed and delivered, and the payment is processed.

8. IoT in FMCG

The evolution of IoT is influencing the FMCG sector, with its applications becoming increasingly popular. Affordable and automated IoT devices find use in various FMCG settings, including stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. These devices deliver targeted messages to consumers during shopping.

IoT also plays a crucial role in inventory management, both in stores and warehouses. Alongside emerging technologies like ambient intelligence and smart objects, IoT opens new channels for consumer interaction and revenue generation. Furthermore, IoT technology ensures optimal storage conditions for perishable goods, thereby preserving product quality.

Ripen Apps creates iBeacon Solutions

Moving one step ahead of the traditional mobile app development approach, Australian startup Ripen Apps creates innovative applications utilizing iBeacon technology. iBeacons enable add-ons to send customers contextual, hyper-local, meaningful messages and personalized ads on their smartphones as they evaluate a product.

Connected Fresh offers Plug-and-Play Sensors for Temperature Monitoring

US-based startup Connected Fresh offers plug-and-play sensors that offer FMCG companies instant and continuous access to live data on storage and warehouse temperatures. This includes sensor readings, historical data, and real-time notifications to key stakeholders based on temperature fluctuation.

Automatically and continuously monitored products provide both companies’ and customers’ peace of mind knowing that the product is held at specific conditions and any deviations are reported to team members with enough time to act.

9. Blockchain

The competition within the FMCG industry is increasing and brands invest in blockchain to gain a competitive edge. Through smart contracts and traceability, blockchain enables FMCG companies to identify and address supply chain bottlenecks. It enhances consumer transparency by enabling tracking of purchase sources.

Blockchain platforms also introduce cryptocurrencies and loyalty programs, facilitating the collection, exchange, and redemption of points, thereby boosting customer engagement. Furthermore, blockchain ensures product authenticity and quality by providing unalterable records of product origin, manufacturing processes, and distribution.

BlockTac develops Blockchain-based Seals

Spanish startup BlockTac creates Digital Seals for combating product counterfeiting using blockchain technology. Each Digital Seal is distinct and assigned to individual products, allowing buyers to verify their authenticity. By scanning the QR code on the seal using mobile phone cameras, the legitimacy of a product is confirmed. The startup’s system discourages counterfeiters by detecting duplicated seals as fraudulent. This enables FMCG companies to enhance customer trust and convenience.

ExtoLab offers Blockchain-powered Financial Services

ExtoLab is a US-based startup that develops ExtoPay, a last-mile solution for digitizing payments and identity. It features a cryptographically secure, offline transaction protocol that enables Exto hardware waller holders to make payments without internet connectivity. The startup’s biometric hardware and mobile wallets secure users’ verifiable credentials and allow selective, privacy-preserving presentation to verifiers.

ExtoLab’s solution thus enables a more inclusive financial system by combining point-of-sale (POS) solutions, smartphone or non-smartphone users, secure offline transactions, and more. This allows FMCG merchants to improve customer convenience.

10. 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing is creating innovative solutions for the FMCG industry. The industry’s need to address waste from disposable consumer products has led to the exploration of sustainable alternatives. 3D printing enables the design and development of products using environmentally friendly materials, reducing plastic consumption.

FMCG companies utilize 3D printing for various purposes, including prototyping, designing, tooling, and scaling production sustainably. Additionally, 3D food printing allows food companies to enhance the nutritional value of their products. Further, on-demand production, facilitated by 3D printing, aligns with lean manufacturing principles, minimizing excess inventory.

Essentium offers a 3D Printing Platform

US-based startup Essentium offers a 3D printing platform specifically for industrial production. The platform allows companies the flexibility to create multiple product iterations without impacting quality, strength, or performance. FMCG companies use the platform for rapid prototyping, fine-tuning designs, and printing high-precision end-use parts and components.

Mything connects Companies with Local 3D Printing Providers

Austrian startup Mything is an online marketplace that connects companies with local additive and digital manufacturers for on-demand 3D printing. The startup allows FMCG brands to optimize production and lower costs by lowering delivery distances, stock lead times, and material waste.

Discover all FMCG Technologies & Startups

The new trends in the FMCG sector outlined in this report only scratch the surface of trends that we identified during our in-depth research. Among others, sustainable product development, manufacturing, and packaging, with the help of AI, Blockchain, and advanced analytics, as well as opportunities to increase customer engagement, experiences, and satisfaction will transform the sector as we know it today. Identifying new opportunities and emerging technologies to implement into your business early on goes a long way in gaining a competitive advantage. Get in touch to easily and exhaustively scout relevant technologies & startups that matter to you.

 

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