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Consumer products thrive in uncertain times

Happy end: Lindt & Sprüngli made the leap into the top 250 Keystone

Swiss companies are getting stronger, according to a ranking of the world’s top consumer product makers – which showed five Swiss firms either retaining or improving their positions.

This content was published on April 21, 2015 - 11:58
swissinfo.ch

In the “Global Powers of Consumer Products”External link report by consulting firm Deloitte, Nestlé – the world’s largest food company – kept its third place ranking (after Samsung and Apple) on the list of global consumer product companies, as well as its position as number one on the “Top 10 European companies” list.

Other Swiss firms in the Top 250 worldwide are watchmakers Swatch Group (rank 88, +7 places since last year) and Rolex (rank 139, +12) as well as dairy company Emmi (rank 212, +25). Chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli entered the ranking for the first time at position 244. According to Deloitte, the improved rankings demonstrate the strength of Swiss companies in this sector.

The rankings are based on publicly available data for the fiscal year 2013 (encompassing companies’ fiscal years that ended through June 2014). In Nestlé’s case, net sales were $99.5 billion (CHF95.5 billion) – reflecting a growth of 2.7% on the previous year. Overall, the top 250 companies generated nearly $3.1 trillion in sales.

“The fall in the price of oil has a considerable impact on the global economy with increased disinflationary pressures, especially in developed markets such as the United States, Europe and Japan,” said Howard da Silva, Consumer Business Industry leader for Deloitte in Switzerland.

“It boosts consumer purchasing power in oil-consuming nations and thus contributes to faster economic growth.”

Challenges

Going forward, Deloitte highlighted “connecting with the connected consumer” as a big challenge for consumer goods companies. This is partly because shoppers have so much access to online information and reviews.

 A recent Deloitte study found that consumers were most likely to ask family, friends and other consumers for advice rather than relying on retailers or manufacturers.

“More often consumers ask those they feel they can trust and statistics indicate that trust is an important driver of consumer purchasing behaviour,” said Stefano Griccioli, Deloitte Partner Consumer Business.

“Thus it is imperative that in return for sharing their data, consumers receive something valuable and that their data are protected.”

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