7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

Perennial Favorites like P&G Joined by Idahoan, Constellation Brands & Gruma

The CPG (consumer packaged goods) brand growth leaders are identified annually by IRI and BCG. They are classified into three size categories:

  1. small ($100 million to less than $1B)
  2. medium ($1B to less than $6B)
  3. large ($6B+) 

In 2020, Brand Growth Leaders Saw Volume Growth

Driving consistent growth of businesses of more than $1 billion for consumer essentials is challenging, as population growth in the US is modest at best. With COVID, there was an increased demand for meals at home, and also the much-discussed categories of cleaning supplies and toilet paper. 

Notably, 2020 was the first time in more than 10 years where volume growth (+6%) was the main driver of brand growth. Historically, pricing growth has been the main driver, but that only accounted for 3% growth in 2020.

The top 40 for 2020 are made up of 10 large brands or companies, 15 medium brands or companies and 15 smaller brands or companies.

Long-Term Brand Growth Leaders See Success During COVID and in Previous Years

Among the top 40, 16 brands reach the higher hurdle of consistently performing among the top ranked brand growth leaders in their category for more than a third of the years from 2012 to 2020. These 16 have grown their brands well prior to COVID and also during COVID. These consistent performers include a mix of eight large brands, four medium brands and four small brands.   

Looking only at the past three years, we see that all of the 16 except one (RedBull) have been top performers for at least two of the three years.  Combining these two measures together (past nine years above 33% ranking in top for their category and past three years ranking in the top for their category) yields the most consistent CPG brand growth leaders list of seven finalists.  These consistent performers are:

  1. Idahoan – 100%. 
  2. Constellation Brands – 94%
  3. Gruma (i.e., Mission) – 83%
  4. Procter & Gamble – 78%
  5. KISS (bring the salon home) – 78%
  6. Hershey’s – 72%
  7. BodyArmor – 72%
7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

Based on this performance, each of these brand growth leaders can be expected to continue to grow going forward.

Digging Deeper into the 7 Brand Growth Leaders

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

Idahoan has the leading performance in consistent growth in the small category, placing in the top 15 every year for the past nine years.  The Idahoan brand of dehydrated potatoes has gained 45 points in retail share and 19 points in household penetration since 2012. With sales of $464 million and growth of 31% from 2019 to 2020, Idahoan is classified into the small brand growth leaders category.

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

Constellation Brands has driven growth with its strong beer brands (Corona, Modelo, Pacifico).  At $6.4 billion, beer drove 87% of Constellation’s 2020 growth. Constellation also has a $2B wine business and is growing in seltzer (Corona Hard Seltzer), and additional wines (acquisition of Empathy wines) and is “poised for growth.” With total sales of $8.4 billion, Constellation is now classified in the large brand growth leaders category.

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

As the market leader in tortillas with the Mission, Guerrero and Calida brands, Gruma has seen strong growth in the US. In addition to tortillas and tortilla chips, the company is now looking into expansion into other product lines in the US, such as naan, pita and flatbreads.   With sales of $2 billion, and growth of 23%, Gruma is classified in the medium brand growth leaders category.

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

At over $33 billion in North American net sales, Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a consistent leader in the large brand growth leaders category.  P&G’s brand list includes more than 20 brands that have over one billion dollars in sales, including:

  • Always
  • Ariel
  • Bounty
  • Charmin
  • Crest
  • Dawn
  • Downy
  • Duracell
  • Febreze
  • Fusion
  • Gain
  • Gillette
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Iams
  • Mach3
  • Oral-B
  • Pampers
  • Pantene
  • Tide
  • Vicks

The top 3 growth contributing brands for P&G in 2020 were Bounty ($472 million), Dawn and Cascade (+$471 million) and Charmin ($362). Together, these accounting for 42% of the total growth.

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

First appearing on the small brand growth leaders list in 2015, KISS USA has been a consistent performer. With sales of $599 million in 2020 and 26% growth from 2019 to 2020, the company is a leader in artificial nails and has several brands:

  • KISS
  • imPRESS
  • JOAH
  • Broadway Beauty
  • RK by KISS
  • RED by KISS 

KISS has also expanded into other product categories including lashes, cosmetics and hair care.  Social media is credited as one factor in driving the brand’s growth.  

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

Like P&G, Hershey’s is a consistent leader in the large brand growth leaders category, placing in the top 10 in seven of the nine most recent years and two of the three most recent years.  Popular brands include:

  • Hershey’s
  • Kisses
  • Reese’s
  • Rolo
  • KitKat
  • Jollyrancher
  • Twizzlers
  • Ice Breakers
  • Brookside Dark Chocolate

The three brands that drove the 2019 to 2020 sales growth for Hershey’s were: Hershey’s (+$286 million), Reese’s (+$138 million) and KitKat (+$59 million).

7 CPG Brand Growth Leaders that May Surprise You

BodyArmor sports drink first appeared in the top 15 of the small brand growth leaders  category in 2015 and was elevated to the medium category in 2020 due to its growth. With sales of $1.1 billion and growth of 41% between 2019 and 2020, BodyArmor competes with Gatorade and follows the time-tested strategy of athlete endorsements.

These seven companies and their brands stand out for their consistent growth performance for the past three to nine years.   For more resources on growth strategy visit the Insight to Action growth strategy resources page or contact us.

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