An ambient/cold-chain performance gap has emerged. Performance diverged significantly between ambient product makers and cold-chain manufacturers. Eighty percent of ambient companies enjoyed performance gains, while 60% of coldchain companies experienced cost increases.

Service generally improved. For the first time since 2010, CPG supply chains have improved their service levels—but not without incurring greater cost.

The higher cost of delay. Retailers’ on-time requirements are becoming more stringent. Over the past two years, 76% of respondents noted that their companies’ on-time requirements have grown.

Network design is an overwhelming priority. Service- level pressures are prompting more frequent network redesign. Eighty percent of respondents ranked network redesign a top priority, up from 72% in the previous GMA/BCG study.

In the near future, CPG companies will face rising customer demands, further repercussions from channel proliferation, looming transportation constraints, and the need for more frequent network redesign. The report offers five essential actions CPG companies can take to continue meeting customer needs and their own business requirements. Two of these actions include: capitalizing on big data and ramping up hiring to attract the right IT and analytical talent.

“How CPG Supply Chains Are Preparing for Seismic Change” is the sixth report in a series on US grocery manufacturers’ outbound retail supply chains. The study consisted of a survey and in-depth interviews with 68 supply chain leaders and industry experts, as well as BCG research. Gross annual revenues for participating companies range from $165 million to more than $32 billion.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at

Information for this article was provided by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry plays a unique role as the single largest U.S. manufacturing employment sector, with 2.1 million jobs in 30,000 communities across the country that deliver products vital to the wellbeing of people in our nation and around world. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit

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