The term FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), although popular and frequently used does not have a standard definition and is generally used in India to refer to products of everyday use. Conceptually, however, the term refers to relatively fast moving items that are used directly by the consumer. Thus, a significant gap exists between the general use and the conceptual meaning of the term FMCG.
Further, difficulties crop up when attempts to devise a definition for FMCG. The problem arises because the concept has a retail orientation and distinguishes between consumer products on the basis of how quickly they move at the retailer’s shelves. The moot question therefore, is what industry turnaround threshold should be for the item to qualify as an FMCG. Should the turnaround happen daily, weekly, or monthly?
One of the factors on which the turnaround depends is the purchase cycle. However, the purchase cycle for the same product tend to vary across population segments. Many low-income households are forced to buy certain products more frequently because of lack of liquidity and storage space while relatively high-income households buy the same products more infrequently. Similarly, the purchase cycle also tends to vary because of cultural factors. Most Indians, typically, prefer fresh food articles and therefore to buy relatively small quantities more frequently. This is in sharp contrast with what happens in most western countries, where the practice of buying and socking foods for relatively longer period is more prevalent. Thus, should the inventory turnaround threshold be universal, or should it allow for income, cultural and behavioral nuances?
Characteristics of FMCG Products:
•Individual items are of small value. But all FMCG products put together account for a significant part of the consumer's budget. •The consumer keeps limited inventory of these products and prefers to purchase them frequently, as and when...