Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Growth Strategy Examples from BCG and IRI Include General Mills, Driscoll and Red Bull

Nine recently identified growth strategy examples deserve a closer look. Each year, CPG growth strategy leaders are identified by BCG and IRI using a composite growth index that includes three measures:

  • volume sales % change
  • dollar sales % change
  • dollar share point change  

From these metrics, top growth strategy examples are identified in three size categories:

  • large (>$6 billion)
  • medium ($1billion to less than $6 billion)
  • small ($100 million to less than $1billion)

In 2020 the complete list of 40 top growth strategy examples was:

Rank in Category 20202020 Large Brands
1LargeGrupo Bimbo
2LargeGeneral Mills
3LargeMondelez
4LargeConagra Brands
5LargeReckitt Benckiser
8LargeConstellation Brands
7LargeKeurig Dr. Pepper
8LargeProcter & Gamble
9LargeTyson Foods
10LargeHershey’s
Rank in Category 20202020 Medium Sized Brands
1MediumMark Anthony Brands
2MediumBodyArmor
3MediumBoston Beer
4MediumSwedish Match
5MediumGoya Foods
6MediumOcean Spray Cranberries
7MediumCJ Foods 
8MediumLand O’Lakes
9MediumPharmavite
10MediumDriscoll’s
11MediumGruma (Mission, etc)
12MediumH.P. Hood
13MediumRed Bull
14MediumKoch
15MediumJohnsonville Sausage
Rank in Category 20202020 Small Sized Brands
1SmallVi Jon Labs (germ-x)
2SmallRana
3SmallBeyond Meat
4SmallSPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics
5SmallJasper Wyman & Son
6SmallDots Homstyle Pretzels
7SmallKISS (bring the salon home)
8SmallHandiFoil Corp Hfa
9SmallSun Burn
10SmallNatrol
11Smallil Conte (Stella Rosa)
12SmallRaw Sugar Living
13SmallIdahoan
14SmallLamb Weston
15SmallNunes Co

From these 40 growth strategy leaders in 2020, 16 emerged that appeared consistently on the top ranked list for their category at least one third of the time in the past nine years. We explored seven brand growth leaders that stood out for the strongest performance in the last nine and last three years. These are: Idahoan, KISS, Gruma, BodyArmor, Constellation Brands, Hershey’s and Procter & Gamble (P&G).

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Take a Look at These 9 Growth Strategy Examples

The nine growth strategy examples that we will review also performed strongly, just not quite as highly. These are:

  • General Mills
  • Driscoll Strawberry
  • Lamb Weston
  • Red Bull
  • Rana
  • Keurig Dr. Pepper
  • Tyson Foods
  • Mondelez
  • Grupo Bimbo 

For the larger players, we will identify the specific brands that contributed most of their recent growth in 2020.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

In the middle growth leader category, Driscoll’s has consistently ranked among the top performers from 2018 through 2020. Driscoll’s is a world leader in the $6B+ U.S. berry market with year round production of four berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries).  The brand grew 19% from 2019 to 2020 and has sales of $2.6 billion.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

A second growth strategy example in the middle growth leader category is Red Bull. Red Bull had strong performance from 2012 through 2015, ranking in the top leaders each year. The brand next made the list in 2017 and again placed in 2020. The brand grew 10% from 2019 to 2020 and has sales of $5.5 billion. While recent performance of the energy drink brand has been less consistent, perhaps its 2021 limited-edition Dragon Fruit flavor will give it wings to continue on the brand’s US uptrend from 2020.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

In the large growth leader category, Bimbo Bakeries USA (from Grupo Bimbo) was the overall 2020 leader for growth, ranking as the number one growth strategy example for the year.  The brand also consistently ranked in the top growth leaders in five of the past nine years and two of the past three years. Bimbo’s growth driver brands for 2020 were:

  1. Thomas’ (+$233 million)
  2. Entenmann’s (+$153 million)
  3. Ball Park (+$111 million).

The three brands together contributed 48% of the total growth.  Bimbo’s Chief Customer Officer Shane Faucettt attributed its 2020 success to a focus on safety.

“As the pandemic emerged, we named ‘Feeding America while Staying Safe’ as the priority for our 20,000 associates. As we strived to serve customers and consumers, it was exciting to see these efforts result in industry-leading growth.”

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

A second growth strategy example in the large category is Mondelez. Like Bimbo, Mondelez has also consistently ranked as a growth leader in five of the past nine years, and two of the past three years.  Mondelez spun off from Kraft in September 2012 as a focused snack and confection company. Brand growth drivers included:

  1. Oreo (+$184 million)
  2. Chips Ahoy (+$105 million)
  3. Ritz (+$106 million)

These 3 brands drove 79% of Mondelez’s 2020 growth. It recently acquired Grenade, which it considers highly aligned with the organization’s growth strategy.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Keurig Dr. Pepper is a third growth strategy example in the large category.  The organization’s growth was driven by:

  1. Dr. Pepper (+$520 million)
  2. Canada Dry (+$138 million)
  3. A&W ($104 million)

These three brands contributed 57% of the total growth.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Another large category player that has consistently ranked in the top growth leaders from 2018 to 2020 is General MillsIn 2020, General Mills saw the greatest growth increases from:

  1. Pillsbury (+$402 million)
  2. Big G General Mills (+$266 million)
  3. Blue Buffalo pet food brand (+$202 million)

These three brands contributed 50% of General Mills 2020 growth.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

The final large category player that has consistently grown is Tyson.  Tyson’s 2020 biggest growth increases were driven by:

  1. Jimmy Dean (+$549 million)
  2. Tyson (+$466 million)
  3. Hillshire (+$165 million)

Together, these three represented 78% of the organization’s 2020 growth.

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

In the small size growth leader category, Rana has consistently ranked in the top growth category from 2018 through 2020. With reported sales of $293 million from the IRI/BCG report, the Rana brand grew 55% in dollars from 2019 to 2020. Products include filled pastas, flat cut pastas, sauces and meal kits. 

Growth Strategy Examples from 9 Successful CPG Companies

Another growth strategy example in the small size growth leader category is Lamb Weston.  Lamb Weston’s reported sales were reported at $561 million, up 41% in dollars vs. 2019.

These nine growth strategy examples are an interesting mix of traditional CPG brands and lesser-known players. Growth was significant for each brand, demonstrating changing US consumer behavior in 2020. When 2021’s growth leaders are identified, we’ll be able to compare how much of the behavior change become permanent.

For more resources on growth strategy visit the Insight to Action growth strategy resources page or contact us.

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