Cision Insights uncovers 3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry

Cision identifies 3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry

The £350 million FMCG industry is changing fast.

Shifting consumer preferences, new political pressures and resistance to healthier product ranges are all creating reputational risks for businesses in the sector. With more than 25% of a company’s value linked directly to its reputation, protecting firms against these risks is a key responsibility for communicators in the industry.

That’s why the Cision Insights team has analysed millions of print, digital and broadcast press clippings to identify the three biggest threats facing the FMCG industry right now, which are summarised in an exclusive report – 3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry in 2018.

Inside, you’ll find all the insights you need to prepare your comms strategy for these key reputational threats in the coming months.

The government’s war on sugar

Last month saw the government roll out is ‘sugar tax’ in the UK.

Following the success of similar taxes in places like Mexico, it now looks like a matter of time until this tax is adopted across the EU.

“There’s a growing demand for taxes on unhealthy products across all of Europe,” says Carlos Del Romero, senior client insights manager at Cision. “A 2018 survey carried out by market research firm Mintel showed that healthy products and transparency are the top two priorities for consumers.”

3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry sugar tax
Cision Communications Cloud data showing ‘sugar tax’ mentions between January and December 2017

Download your copy of the report today to see how you can prepare your business.

Plastic waste isn’t going away

Consumers are becoming more conscious of the impact big corporations have on the environment.

The debate was triggered in part by initiatives like Syk’s Ocean Rescue campaign, which pledged to seek a solution to the public’s relationship with plastic waste.

“But the single biggest contribution to the plastics debate came from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II,” adds Rel Romero. “The series showcased the risks to our oceans and highlighted plastic waste as the number one threat.”

With the EU announcing its European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy earlier this year, this issue isn’t going away.

3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry plastic waste
Cision Communications Cloud data showing ‘packaging waste’ mentions in the mainstream media from January to December 2017

Discover more about the role communicators must play in this debate here.

A potential consumer backlash

In response to changing consumer preferences and government pressure, FMCG brands are diversifying their product portfolios. But with new products come new challenges.

“Customers have mixed feelings about the use of sweeteners and the reduction of sugar content,” notes Del Romero. “Consumers criticised Irn-Bru owner AG Barr for replacing the recipe of its drink
with a low-sugar alternative. Hands off our Irn-Bru, a petition launched by loyal customers, has attracted thousands of signatures.”

Changes like these may be necessary to adapt to new industry trends. But, to implement them successfully, brands must be smart about how they communicate them to the public.

3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry healthy products
Reasons customers buy healthy products

Companies must adapt quickly to this changing business environment, and comms must play a key role in driving this transformation. So, enter your details into the form below now to access the full report and discover more about the challenges these issues create for communicators.

3 reputational risks facing the FMCG industry in 2018

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By Solomon Radley

Solomon writes about all things PR and comms. Send him your case studies, press releases and story pitches at