Consumer Goods, Retail & Agribusiness

Consumer Goods, Retail & Agribusiness

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Multi-channel shopping and communication

The consumer goods and retail markets are facing unprecedented disruptions. Consumers are more demanding and less predictable than ever before, and success today means engaging your customers across every channel—and at all touchpoints. For these reasons, superior consumer understanding and thought leadership are at the heart of our consulting model.

Within our Competence Center we serve clients in the retail industry across all sectors, including food, fashion, DIY or e-commerce as well as in the fast moving consumer goods, consumer durables, food ingredients, flavors and fragrances industries, and the agriculture business. It’s time for new strategies and new business models.

Consumers want to be recognized as individuals, enjoy a multi-channel shopping and communication experience, and expect it all in a convenient environment. However, they also demand value and special offers—the same person who shops at a discount supermarket in the afternoon may dine at a premium restaurant that very same night, just as a no-name shirt may be accessorized with high-end luxury items. This complexity is just one side of the story for companies operating in today’s rapidly changing environment.

From product portfolios to supply chain operations, each and every aspect of retail requires a facelift—if not a fundamental realignment—in order to exploit new market opportunities and adjust to 21st century realities. Our team has an international footprint as well as local expertise. We are focused on market-driven, rule-breaking strategies that work, and we’ve already implemented them for top international players. With exhaustive insights into every relevant industry topic, we can help you develop leading edge solutions tailor-made to your company’s needs. Are you with us?


Today’s retailers have significant questions they are looking for answers to. How can you best address customers along various touchpoints and different channels? How can you build a superior understanding of your customer’s desires? What is the most effective way to ensure profitability, or integrate digital innovations? Can a cooperation secure attractive and competitive purchase prices? And perhaps most importantly for industry players world-wide, how can you grow and remain competitive in an international market while still keeping the personalized customer contact that today’s consumers demand?

Specific questions must be answered with equally concrete actions. Our global retail team has advised leading international retailers on a multitude of projects, and we possess an in-depth understanding of all topics relevant to the industry. We know how to address category management and purchasing issues, digitization concerns, or changes in marketing strategy as well as how to optimize your customer relationship management processes. Working with your company, we can offer a tailor-made path to achieve—and maintain—real staying power in this ever-changing market environment.


Fashion retailers and manufacturers operate in a challenging environment that puts unprecedented pressure on sales, margins, and profitability. Among the issues to address are the saturated EU market, costly international expansion, unpredictable consumption patterns, shorter product lifecycles, consumer affinity for discounts leading to lower sales slips, exploding online/mobile shopping together with the race for more innovative physical store concepts, and decreasing footfall. At the same time, customers require not only a seamless and convenient shopping experience across all channels, but they also expect to interact with brands on numerous touchpoints via social media and collaborative platforms. These challenges make it difficult to know what actions will yield the biggest results for your company’s bottom line and keep you operating with profitable, sustainable growth.

With years of consulting and management-level industry experience behind them, our experts are fashion industry insiders. We have worked on numerous projects and know how to address a challenge like digitization, the future of POS, vertical integration, product development and sourcing flexibility, big data analytics, and brand management with a tried-and-tested, action-oriented approach. Whether you are a retailer, a manufacturer, or a sourcing office, we can help you to improve your business model, increase your flexibility, improve your supply chain, adapt your strategy for the digital age, optimize your internal structures and processes, as well as help you to inspire your customers with unique experiences that build a strong brand connection.


How can brick-and-mortar retail adapt to new consumer trends and take full advantage of e-commerce opportunities? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. While it may be tempting to chase after new marketing trends in the race to keep up with the times, the answer is often far less complex than it might appear.

From gaining customer insights through detailed market research, to identifying and expanding the most attractive possibilities, Roland Berger’s consultants can advise you on a tailor-made approach to cross-channel integration. Unlocking the profitability of multi-platform commerce, our experts quiet down the noise and help you focus on new streams that will feel like an organic next step for your business model.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

FMCG manufacturers are facing complex challenges as they go forward into the 21st century—among them saturation in mature markets, polarization between A-brands and (premium) private labels, squeezing of B and C-brands, a downstream power shift with retail concentration, volatile raw materials markets, and changing "hybrid" consumer behaviors. Digitization, targeted digital media marketing for example, can offer great opportunities to maintain your share of voice, but FMCGs generally have to face that other players own the consumer data. How can you harness the potential of digitization while also keeping a check on regulatory constraints and avoiding conflicts with traditional stationary channels?

At Roland Berger, we are experts in managing these kinds of challenges and implementing concrete actions that will strengthen your company’s crucial competitive edge. Working with global leaders and local heroes, we support our FMCG clients in finding functional answers to the relevant questions. Our approach is about creative strategies that work, and we know how to improve, re-engineer, or restructure a business to best meet our clients’ needs and help them successfully navigate the challenges of our times.

Consumer Durables

The consumer durables industry is being confronted with shifting drivers, putting industry players under more and more pressure to find new ways to retain their competitiveness. On the consumer side, increasing online sales and complex communication channels with multiple new touch points must be addressed. In addition, new players are entering the European market and Chinese companies are increasing their market share. While disruptive online options have proven successful to gain access to BRIC market distribution, what other paths can your company take?

Our dedicated consumer durables team has extensive industry experience along the entire value chain: suppliers, "competitors", and retail. We have already successfully navigated numerous projects to help our clients manage these industry-specific challenges. Whether guiding you through decisions related to digitally enabled POS, profitable private label business, continuous customer involvement, partnerships, smart hardware and service ecosystems, or consistent omni-channel management, we can help you address current, competitive market situations with concrete actions.

Agribusiness & Food Ingredients

A shrinking land base, stricter regulations, declining spending power among farmers, and sinking retail prices are among a number of long-term industry trends pushing the agricultural sector towards more sustainable practices. This leaves industry players grappling with issues of efficiency, research and development, a sustainable and secure supply, value chain restructuring, energy utilization, and the impact of both digitization and automation. Does your company have the right strategy to survive this demanding environment?

Global leaders in the ingredients, flavor and fragrance industries are at a critical turning point. On one hand, consumers and regulatory bodies are keeping an eye on health, safety, and sustainability standards. On the other, growing markets in emerging economies demand higher production volumes at an even faster pace. What's more: this all occurring within an unpredictable market driven by increasing innovation and shorter product life-cycles. The following question now faces the industry: how can suppliers comply with health regulations, while still maintaining product quality and a competitive edge?

Whatever your role is in the agribusiness or flavor and fragrance value chain – be it producer, processer, or trader – there is one thing you can be sure of: there are exciting times ahead. Here at Roland Berger, we have an extensive track record in the Agribusiness & Food Ingredients industry. We understand the complexities of the new challenges facing companies, and leading players in the both sectors have benefited from our tried-and-true, hands-on approach. Specifically, we deliver results in challenges ranging from strategy development to performance improvement, to restructuring and the transformation of agricultural cooperatives.

Having worked on strategic projects for several leading companies, we have drawn insights from the following regional markets: agribusiness, local ingredients, foods and consumer goods teams in Europe, North America, China, and India. Whether next-level innovation, value chain restructuring, portfolio alignment, growth, or complexity management, we can find a customized strategy to help you reach your goals. We can support you grow your ideas into rewarding accomplishments.

In summary, we support key players in the global agribusiness industry. Moreover, we carry out projects in all functional areas and agribusiness sectors. We are thought leaders, offering proven tools and solutions. In turn, we provide operational excellence for end-to-end value chain solutions. Our priority: deliver top quality and tailor made project results for our clients.

Marketing and Sales

As a consumer goods company your most key source of success is your marketing and sales excellence. It determines success or failure in the classical and even more in the new digital world. With its impact notoriously hard to prove, we help you to quantify your success, from strategy and impact all the way to the bottom line. At Roland Berger, we assess the effectiveness and efficiency of all of your marketing activities where it counts – in your company’s P&L statement.

We know how to ask the right questions, identify the trends, and discover hidden potential to improve your position. Applying proven methodologies and value-based tools, we deliver pragmatic solutions to optimize your sales organization, brand and CRM management, reporting systems, and results.

Supply Chain Management

The supply chain is the backbone of your business - and cost, flexibility, and lead times are three of the most important terms when it comes to taking your company in the right direction. Yet, with the world becoming increasingly complex and volatile, knowing which course to set can be difficult. In the midst of digitalization, data security is seen as one of the biggest challenges as companies worry about the potential loss of sensitive data if they collaborate with competitors or IT firms.

Having the right partner by your side can become business critical.

Supply chains have to meet many targets at the same time. We at Roland Berger know how to deal with the issues that matter most: reliability and flexibility, demand volatility, cost, followed by transparency on customer requirements and individualized products and services. We are able to provide insight into the trends, targets and levers in your industry in order to bring you forward and exceed your goals.

Portrait of Matthias Hanke
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Switzerland, Central European Head of Transportation
Zurich Office, Central Europe
+41 79 372-3945
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Portrait of Alfredo Arpaia
Senior Partner, Chairman of the Board of Directors Italy
Milan Office, Southern Europe
+39 02 2950-1218
Portrait of Pedro Galhardas
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Portugal
Lisbon Office, Southern Europe
Portrait of Szabolcs Nemes
Partner, Managing Partner Romania
Bucharest Office, Eastern Europe
+40 21 30605-01
Singapore Office, Southeast Asia
Portrait of Matthias Hanke
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Switzerland, Central European Head of Transportation
Zurich Office, Central Europe
+41 79 372-3945
Portrait of Faris Momani
Senior Partner
Zurich Office, Central Europe
+41 43 336-8658
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We help you to navigate through volatile times.