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CPG Trends for 2021: Diversity, Digital and the Transforming Workplace

Recruiters are more than just a pipeline of highly qualified professionals ready to enhance your business—they offer perspective on larger issues affecting the industry, extending the experience to get ahead of trends and the consultative support you may not have even known was a viable resource. 

A recruiter is uniquely positioned to gain and gather a valuable account of the CPG industry, where it succeeds, and where you could help make a difference. As experienced consumer goods recruiters, we believe any CPG company hiring talent should consider the following CPG trends for 2021.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion is not a new concept by any means, but the consumer packaged goods industry is prioritizing creating a workforce that more accurately reflects its consumer base. 

Women drive 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing through their buying power alone. In order to drive business and create products that meet the needs of and appeal to women, it makes sense to build a workforce that can best address how to design these products because they can accurately identify with the consumer—i.e. other women.

Employer branding should be no different. Developing a company culture that values and places precedent on diversity and inclusion as pillars of its company culture and offers benefits that promote a positive work-life balance isn’t just a CPG trend for 2021. It effectively creates an environment that is potentially very desirable to many female candidates. 

Digital Transformation

Traditionally, the driving force of CPG was the physical retail store and, while it is still a massive part of the industry, automation has swept across CPG—like nearly every other industry—and, as a result, the digital share of the space continues to grow exponentially.

The availability and real time analysis of a wealth of data, paired with increasingly advanced mobile accessibility, have changed the consumer experience to one more and more removed from the physical store and focused instead on delivery or store pick-up. 

Considering all the CPG trends for 2021, being able to understand the data offered by a multitude of channels will not only be a valuable trait for the future CPG workforce but a necessary one to effectively develop those products that meet the unique needs of a geo-sensitive customer base demanding a personalized approach to consumption. 

Embracing the New Normal

Exceptional talent will move up, gain promotions and, depending on the size of a company, often hit an advancement wall unless they entertain the possibility of relocation. 

For those leaders who have built lives in geographical areas, who have families and roots in these areas, changing companies to remain in these markets and communities is fairly common. COVID-19 forced many companies that had little to no experience with remote work to utilize project management software like Monday or Asana and videoconferencing applications like Zoom to salvage and continue their company’s productivity potential.

If CPG leaders continue to promote the effective use of remote work, at even the highest level, retaining those high-value, impactful leaders will no longer be dependent upon them outgrowing the growth possibilities of a physical location. Encouraging a larger remote workforce will not only allow the talent capital you gain to enhance your overall company culture, but will inherently diversify the voices every team has to offer while problem-solving. 



Cameron Smith & Associates is a talent acquisition firm centered in the CPG space. We offer the high touch consultative and recruitment services your company needs to stay ahead of trends, to gain outlying talent and to build those leaders who will keep you innovative and relevant in a rapidly changing industry.

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