The Balance of Power: Insights from the Category Leadership Study

Discover what challenges and potential solutions lie ahead for CPG brands as they continue to play an integral part to category and retail growth.
15 September 2021
Lauren Winkler

Shopper Insights Consultant, North America

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Kantar has been tracking category leadership – priorities and pressures – for a decade. From 2009 we have regularly surveyed manufacturers and retailers to better understand attitudes towards category leadership and collaboration, best-in-class performance, investment areas and organizational structure. As a result of the growing importance of digital commerce, recent surveys have included questions about omnichannel performance and readiness.

In our 2021 category leadership survey, the following main themes emerged:

  • Omnicommerce is shifting the balance of power
  • There has never been a more opportune time to rethink the retailer/manufacturer relationship
  • Category Management is at a cross-roads

Not only are retailers and manufacturers focused on different priorities but their attitudes toward the value of category leadership has both drifted and declined. Consider, in 2017 both retailers and manufacturers felt positive about the future of category management.

Since our 2017 survey, positivity ratings have dropped. According to our latest survey results, retailers have 9% less confidence on the impact of category and shopper insights from manufacturers to their business. Their reliance on insights from the manufacturer community has also decreased by 16%.

Positive ratings from manufacturers have dropped even more. They reported a 22% decline on the impact of their work in category management, and are almost 30% less sure about the future of their impact in category management with retailers.

These insights and many other demonstrate an opportunity for improvement and the need to rethink the retailer/manufacturer relationship. The survey also identifies potential areas that could lead to a new way of collaboration to drive category growth.

In the presentation below, we detail the opportunity that lies ahead for CPG brands and provide concrete examples how you can use insights and technology to drive positive change, grow category sales and best support your retail partners.

Watch highlights from our category leadership study and case studies that can support your category growth plan.

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