Fast Moving Consumer Goods

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The term FMCG refers to those retail goods that are generally replaced or fully used up over a short period of days, weeks, or months, and within one year. This contrasts with durable goods or major appliances such as kitchen appliances, which are generally replaced over a period of several years.

FMCGs have a short shelf life, either as a result of high consumer demand or because the product deteriorates rapidly. Some FMCGs – such as meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and baked goods – are highly perishable. Other goods such as alcohol, toiletries, pre-packaged foods, soft drinks and cleaning products have high turnover rates.

The following are the main characteristics of FMCGs:

From the consumers' perspective:

  • Frequent purchase
  • Low involvement (little or no effort to choose the item -- products with strong brand loyalty are exceptions to this rule)
  • Low price

From the marketers' angle:

  • High volumes
  • Low margins
  • Extensive distribution networks
  • High stock turnover
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