Toby Emmerson


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The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, sometimes referred to as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is an industry that has survived well during the pandemic. Unlike automobiles, heavy manufacturing, and energy, FMCG does not struggle every time the economy starts to dip. You may put off buying a car, but you don't put off eating, drinking and washing. This means that FMCG has a level of job security compare to other industries – it is also incredibly innovative.

FMCG is a popular choice as it offers an opportunity to express creativity through developing new ideas for products, packaging, branding, and advertising. In order to compete, the industry constantly needs to innovate in all of these areas and communicate their brands. Working with the FMCG industry gives you the opportunity to be a part of global success stories as well as have a significant influence on the way customers buy their household products.

Independent of the pandemic, McKinsey in their report “trends that will shape the consumer goods industry” identified the following as major trends in the industry:

  • A billion new consumers
  • Consumers ‘going green’
  • Shifting demographics
  • Rise of digital consumers
  • Health and wellness concerns
  • Modernization and concentration of trade 
  • Rise of the value segment

In our recent conversations with alumni within the industry, they passed on their advice on how to pick up on trends, and how to adapt to them, develop yourself and demonstrate the skills needed. Here are five key areas that you can work on now to make you stand out now:

Company selection

Understand which companies are performing and what skills they need. Know their values - for example, Kraft Heinz and Unilever have different outlooks. Look at your plan B and C!

Commercial awareness

How do businesses act and perform in times of crisis; it will have an impact for some time. The Grocer is one of the main industry websites and contains all sorts of news, articles and links.


Successful companies are adapting quickly and proactively by launching New Product Development. As well as The Grocer keep abreast of what is happening in your local supermarket, and try seeing different shops and platforms, so you are not just seeing an echo chamber.

Tech skills

Everyone has moved online, but not everyone has digital skills. Upskill!! They need digital knowledge and experience.


Start your own eCommerce platform and show recruiters that you have the skills!!

If you are interested in finding out more, and you are an incoming Imperial College Business School student, check out our FMCG online module (found in the Career Resources module on the Hub) and attend our Spotlight on Careers in FMCG workshop and panel in September.


Toby Emmerson, Employer Relations Manager


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