CHICAGO—IRI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have published their Consumer Product Goods (CPG) Growth Leaders study, finding Red Bull as the 2021 growth leader with over 20% growth and $6 billion in 2021 sales, according to a news release. Red Bull was followed by Procter & Gamble, Constellation Brands, Unilever, Hershey and Reckitt in the large CPG category.
Among midsize companies with $1 billion to $6 billion in 2021 sales, BODYARMOR led the list with 51.9% sales growth from volume and distribution gains. Alani Nutrition was the growth leader among small companies with less than $1 billion in 2021 sales, delivering $137 million of sales growth in measured channels.
“One of the most interesting trends we saw emerge in this year's growth leader lists was that large CPG manufacturers grew share for the first time in five years—and 9 out of 10 large growth leaders grew volume despite lapping significantly elevated volumes from 2020,” said Aman Gupta, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group. “Looking forward, we expect that CPGs with flexible and dynamic supply chains, strong omnichannel capabilities, enhanced productivity solutions and the ability to adapt their portfolio to respond to consumer trends will be best positioned to win in 2022 and beyond.”
Overall, 2021 U.S. CPG sales grew 2.7% was driven by increased pricing, inflation and reduced promotional activity. On a volume basis, overall U.S. CPG sales decreased roughly 2% compared to the 10.6% dollar growth in 2020 driven by the pandemic. Two-year trends show growth over pre-pandemic periods, and compared with 2019, overall CPG volume sales increased 4.3% in 2021.
While large CPG companies used pricing actions in 2021 to gain market share for the first time in over five years, small CPGs capitalized on continued supply constraints impacting competitors to expand their market share. Both branded CPGs and private labels grew in 2020; however, branded CPGs were able to sustain growth in 2021.
Self-care, convenient meals, indulgence and home care were the four main themes of the 2021 CPG winners, according to IRI and BCG.