MANILA – Kantar Worldpanel, the global expert in shopper’s behavior, announces its latest study that reveals innovation as a crucial and critical factor in a brand’s continued success in the Philippines. Dubbed “INNOVNATION: The New and The Now,” the study provides an in-depth look at how the local FMCG market is gearing up towards a highly innovative thrust across their brands.
From 2012 to 2015, Kantar Worldpanel Philippines studied 2,000 product launches, including new brand releases and renovations or upgrades to existing products, across 58 FMCG categories in the country. The report shows how the products performed overall: how many were picked up, how many were left unnoticed, and which products stayed in the grocery lists of Filipino shoppers.
“By observing the products launched over the course of a whole year, we were able to have a clear picture of the innovation trends and performances in the local FMCG market. We are observing that brands are moving toward continuous innovation and they have realized the need to strengthen their strategies for successful launches,” explains, Alexandre Duterrage, General Manager, Kantar Worldpanel Philippines.
What makes a successful product launch?
Over the course of its study, Kantar Worldpanel looked at the behavior of Filipinos towards new product launches. With a new product being introduced in the country every two hours, the competition to get into the Filipino shopping basket is getting tougher.
Data from the INNOVNATION study reveals that on average, a launch is able to penetrate only two percent (2%) of the total number of Filipino households. This means that only 20 out of 1,000 households will try a new product within the span of one year. And out of those 20 households, only five (5) will repurchase the product at least once.
Personal Care emerges as the category with the most number of launches, taking four out of 10 innovations. However, this figure reflects mostly ‘renovations’ – smarter packets that give three washes at the price of one, large bottles for the higher end market and other promo packages. Only nine percent (9%) of the total launches were of new brands. Meanwhile, Filipinos’ love for food is evident in the INNOVNATION study, with the food category getting the largest chunk of new brand launches at 20 percent (20%).
A ranking of all launches shows that the top 20 percent (20%) new products had a trial rate four times (4x) higher, and a repeat purchase rate of two times (2x) higher than the average performance. Success, therefore, is not only based on how many households try a product. It should be sustained through repurchasing by Filipino shoppers.
Keeping up with the Filipino shopper
According to Kantar Worldpanel Philippines, the Filipino shopper takes cues from the rest of the world, welcoming what the rest of the world likes. Filipinos are said to be evolving in taste, not just for local, but for international brands, too. Many popular brands in the Philippines are foreign, while local brands are gaining ground but on a slow and tedious pace.
In order for brands to keep up with the Filipino shopper’s ever changing needs, FMCG companies must be vigilant. The INNOVNATION report indicates that brands must recognize the embedded culture in its target market, but must also be open to cues from global brands.
Brands must also take advantage of the digital world by being online all the time. The Philippines is among the fastest growing nations when it comes to Internet penetration and the Internet is a great tool to influence the market.
“The game has changed. The FMCG industry has shifted from a competition based on manufacturing, to one that is driven by innovation,” says Duterrage. “The competition to be the leader in the Philippine FMCG market never stops, especially with new products being launched every two hours. Leaders are movers, who are constantly looking for innovative ways to further the market,” he adds.