Consumer Products & Retail

Executing ruthlessly to deliver sustainable value

"Long term growth on the continent is increasingly reflecting social and demographic changes, creating new engines of growth - which includes an increasingly affluent consumer class. With the consumer as an accelerator of growth, there is certainly no doubt that Africa is on the Consumer Product companies agenda" - Derek Engelbrecht, Retail & Consumer Products Leader

There is a brand new order. Your customers, consumers and competitors are evolving at different speeds in different ways in different markets. In a world that’s more complex, connected and fast-moving than ever, the opportunities are massive, but so are the risks.

With uncompromising stakeholders demanding consistent growth and consumers demanding value and taking ownership of your brands, it’s time to reframe strategic choices, realign the value chain and ruthlessly execute for short-term results and long term sustainability.

Our professionals have the knowledge to help you challenge and disrupt entrenched ways of thinking. Whether you want to improve organizational agility; drive value from digital marketing spend; deploy talent effectively across markets; or re-engineer your supply chain for greater flexibility, we have the skills you need to succeed.

Understand our point of view on key issues in today’s consumer products environment:

  • Africa is on the agenda

    Africa is on all Top 30 consumer products companies' agenda. Africa is growing at a faster rate, with higher investment returns than mature economies. Global consumer products companies are  already investing in Africa and now seeking to push the accelerator on profitable growth.

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  • Consumer strategy

    African consumers are a complex and varied group where ethnicity, culture affluence and religion play a major role in driving preferences and purchasing behaviour. Consumer strategy needs to be tailored to reflect how these influences play out acrosss country markets.

  • Informal markets

    The informal economy is a key feature of life in Africa — estimated to account for around 42% of GDP in 2000 with the highest figures in Zimbabwe (59.4%), Tanzania (58.3%) and Nigeria (57.9%). South Africa is the least informal market — only 28.4% of GDP. Thus small “mom and pop” stores have enormous market share — possibly as high as 85% of volumes. Although not apparent, informal markets have structures, rules and a flow which businesses can tune into if they are prepared to invest sufficient time and effort.

  • Centralised warehousing

    The industry is rethinking the centralised warehousing model versus smaller manufacturing units closer to the source. Companies are looking at the cost of transport relative to the efficiency of manufacturing.

  • Organisational models

    Companies are increasingly redesigning their organisational models to reduce bureaucracy, speed up decision making and tailor products to local needs.

  • The DNA of the C-suite

    The DNA of the CIO -  Opening the door to the C-suite

    The DNA of the CIO provides fresh insight into what it is to be a Chief Information Officer (CIO) today. Read more.

     The DNA of the COO - Time to claim the spotlight 

    The role of the chief operating officer (COO) often defies a “one size fits all” description. In the The DNA of the COO, we uncover a compelling story of a wide-ranging role that still needs to fight to justify its existence, despite having a clear rationale. Read more.

    The DNA of the CFO - an Ernst & Young study of what makes a chief financial officer

    It’s become fashionable to say that any ambitious CFO wants to be a CEO. Read more.



  • Adapt to the Brand New Order

    The traditional consumer products business model is being disrupted by a changing world. There is huge potential to create value, but companies need to be prepared to disrupt old ways of thinking.

    We interviewed 285 C-suite executives from leading consumer goods companies to identify what matters in this brand new order and what companies need to do differently in order to win.

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  • Understand what’s driving consumer products transactions

    Against a backdrop of ongoing economic uncertainty, merger and acquisition activity in the global consumer products sector slowed in early 2012. Despite hitting its lowest level in three years, we are optimistic that the pace of deal activity will recover through the year.

    Companies are cash-rich, carrying out due diligence and keen to improve earnings and shareholder value through smaller deals, joint ventures, alliances and contracts rather than traditional M&A. Buyers have the firepower and the pipeline appears strong.

    Are you interested in transactions? In the past twelve months we have acted for 95% of the top consumer product companies in the Top 500 of S&P Global 1200, so we are well placed to comment on the global transactions landscape.

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  • Our credentials
    • In South Africa and across the continent we audit a significant number of the locally based retail and FMCG companies that operate across the entire value chain. (These companies include the largest African based consumer products company, the largest African based milk and diary consumer products company and some of the largest clothing and food retail and wholesale companies).
    • We also serve some of the world's largest companies that operate across different countries in Africa.
    • We are the market share leader in the retail and wholesale sector on the 2011 Fortune 1000, auditing 29% of the retail and wholesale companies on the list, and 45% of the revenue audited.

Contact us

Derek Engelbrecht
Africa Consumer Products and Retail Sector Leader
+27 11 772 3567

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Converting Africa’s potential into profit. The opportunity for consumer products companies

EY - Converting Africa’s potential into profit

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