The facts and figures behind the CPG industry and the millions of American lives it touches.


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October Update

  • Consumer spending rises even as personal income falls.
  • CPG sales slow slightly but stay well above pre-COVID-19 norms.
  • Consumer confidence and jobs rise.

CPG Economic Pulse

The United States just completed the strongest quarter of economic growth in history, increasing at a roughly 25% annualized rate. Now those with eyes on the economy are looking for clues for what the fourth quarter will hold.


Life Amid a Pandemic

  • 86% of Americans say they are concerned about the coronavirus, and their worries about access to CPG products are rising.
  • 47% of Americans say their trust in CPG has grown during the pandemic.
  • 31% of Americans say the pandemic response has affected who they are likely to vote for in the presidential election.

Coronavirus Surveys Show a Nation Changed

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown American life into chaos and Consumer Brands’ coronavirus surveys have proven that this new normal is anything but.

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Environmentalism During COVID-19

  • 69% of Americans are more concerned about safety and hygiene than environmental impact.
  • 62% agree that improving the recycling system so it can efficiently process plastic is the best way to deal with plastic waste, rather than banning plastic entirely.
  • 11% believe that America’s recycling systems are doing their best to recycle the material they receive.

How COVID-19 Has Forced American Recycling to a Critical Juncture

The pandemic has fundamentally changed America. It has forced us to a critical juncture for our environmental future. Will we use this crisis as an opportunity to rethink and rebuild an outdated recycling system or will we allow its continued deterioration?


What Keeps CEOs Up at Night?

  • 86% of the CEOs ranked the consumer as having the number one impact on their decision-making, establishing consumers as the de facto regulator of the industry.
  • CEOs ranked complying with a patchwork of state regulations as the biggest issue impacting business.
  • The top areas of focus for CEOs in 2020 are attracting new talent and increasing company sustainability.

Industry View 2020

The Consumer Brands Association’s Industry View 2020 is the inaugural research examining the issues of greatest concern to CPG leaders. Through a survey of 28 CEO or equivalent-level executives from Consumer Brands Association’s membership, Industry View 2020 looks inside the minds of those at the helm of America’s most iconic brands.


The Wild West of CBD

  • 92% of Americans incorrectly assume or have no idea if CBD is federally regulated.
  • 34% of Americans have purchased a CBD product.
  • 82% of Americans expressed alarm upon learning no federal agency regulates CBD.


The Urgent Need for CBD Clarity

The market for cannabidiol (CBD) products is booming but research from the Consumer Brands Association shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans are confused about what CBD is, what it does and whether CBD products are safe. Without a uniform federal regulatory framework in place, consumers lack the basic information they need to make informed decisions about CBD.


The Need for National Standards

  • 83% of Americans say tackling plastic and packaging waste is an opportunity for the federal government to lead.
  • 77% of Americans agree that the federal government should tackle plastic waste as its next “moon shot.”
  • 93% of Americans believe national standards will alleviate recycling confusion.

Launching America’s Recycling Moonshot

Consumer Brands Association research reveals that Americans want the federal government to lead on a solution to the plastic and packaging waste crisis. They feel it is worthy of a “moon shot,” mirroring the collaborative efforts the government orchestrated for the Apollo space project. But right now, most Americans say they do not feel that the federal government is doing enough and that the nation’s recycling system is crumbling.


The CPG Industry Supports:

  • 20.4 million jobs
  • $1.1 trillion of labor income
  • $2.0 trillion of value added


Every day. Everywhere. Powered by CPG.

The consumer packaged goods industry is the largest manufacturing employer in the United States. The food, beverage, household and personal care products the industry makes positively impact the lives of every American, every day.

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America’s Broken Recycling System

  • More than 90% of Americans say they feel they know their local recycling rules, but fewer than six-in-ten report researching them.
  • 26% of Americans rank recycling as more confusing than building IKEA furniture.
  • 74% of Americans say that more standardized rules at the national or state level would bring more clarity to recycling.

Reduce. Reuse. Confuse.

100% of the 25-largest CPG companies have committed to more recyclable packaging — 80% of companies will be fully recyclable by 2030. But barriers remain. There is deep consumer confusion about how and what to recycle, evidence of a fragmented system where change is imperative.


A Consistent Metric:

Case quantity that is delivered to the destination by the requested delivery date, calculated as a percentage of the ordered quantity that:

  • Disregards any over-delivered quantity or inaccurate product
  • Measures arrival at the destination facility
  • Adjusts delivery time for any retailer-caused appointment delay, measures to the end of the working day and includes a one-day early allowance

Defining ‘On-time, In-full’ in the Consumer Sector

Measuring supply-chain performance should be simple. But it isn’t yet — because companies are using an inconsistent approach to a critical metric that measures if shipments are delivered successfully, called “on-time and in-full.” The Trading Partner Alliance, of which the Consumer Brands Association is a founding member, surveyed 24 major retailers and CPG companies to create consistency.


Ditching Dwell Time

  • Improper load balancing can be fixed by flexible staffing and strict appointment scheduling that considers product type and complexity.
  • Carrier arrival delays create a dwell time domino effect, increasing congestion.
  • Granular data and robust reporting are critical for identifying bottlenecks.

Reducing System Dwell Time Through Collaboration

When drivers sit idle during their deliveries, it’s a problem for them and the many Americans that rely on the CPG industry to get their products delivered safely and affordably. The Trading Partner Alliance, of which the Consumer Brands Association is a founding member, conducted a real-world pilot program to find the root causes of dwell time and discover innovative, collaborative solutions.


Cutting Confusion, Cost and Contamination

  • 87% of store products now carry the streamlined labels.
  • 44% of Americans determine whether to throw food away based on the dates on the label.
  • 88% of Americans say the two definitions of “BEST If Used By” and “USE By” are clear.

Best if Clearly Labeled

With more than 10 different and confusing label options, Americans were confused by if and when they should discard food, beverage and household products. That’s why the CPG industry streamlined to two date labels, “BEST If Used By” and “USE By.”


Financing the Future

  • The most popular planned future initiative is robotic process automation.
  • The greatest average annual savings from completed initiatives came from working capital improvements, business costs and finance organization redesign.
  • The most common completed initiative was in management reporting and analytics.

2019 Finance Benchmarking

Which finance initiatives are truly worth the effort, and what are the best ways to approach them? The Consumer Brands Association partnered with PwC to find out. More than 20 CPG companies, with annual revenues ranging from $500 million to $20 billion, contributed data and insights.


Regulatory and Technical Manuals

Access technical, career-specific manuals for professionals in the CPG industry in the online library.