The CPG Playbook for B2B Manufacturers

Your guide to navigating the future success of your B2B Consumer Product Goods business and win the digital shelf.


Gregory Guiblin

As the Global Lead for CPG at Spryker, a leading e-commerce and marketplace platform provider, Gregory is responsible for driving the company's global CPG strategy and developing innovative solutions to help CPG businesses adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape.

Gregory has extensive experience in digital transformation and e-commerce solutions for the CPG industry.

He started his career at Cdiscount, E-commerce leader in France, before moving on to work at HPE and SAP where he gained valuable experience working with Enterprise Companies.

He focused on digital transformation to transform the complete business model of his customers, supporting them not only with Ecommerce & Customer Experience, but also with all their core functions as Finance, Spend Management, Workforce Engagement, Supply Chain and Innovation.

As the CPG industry continues to evolve, there are several key trends that Gregory and his team at Spryker are keeping a close eye on. One of the biggest trends is the growth of e-commerce, with more and more consumers shopping online for their favorite CPG products. This has led to an increased demand for e-commerce solutions that can help CPG businesses compete in the digital marketplace.

Another important trend is the rise of mobile commerce, with more and more consumers using their mobile devices to shop online. As a result, it's crucial for CPG businesses to have mobile-optimized e-commerce platforms that can provide a seamless shopping experience for customers on the go.

Finally, Gregory and his team are also closely following developments in areas such as personalization, artificial intelligence, and voice commerce. These are all emerging trends that have the potential to transform the CPG industry in the years to come.


Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is an enormous and diverse industry facing multiple challenges, including increased competition, digitization, changing consumer demands, and sustainability. In order to succeed, CPG manufacturers must differentiate themselves to win the digital shelf. They can achieve this through a flexible approach and embracing digital solutions, such as investing in AI-enabled personalization, cost optimization and efficiency, and data-driven supply chains.

The status quo of CPG

What first springs to mind when you think of CPG? Is it the KitKat you enjoyed as your afternoon snack? The Pamper’s diapers you picked up on the way home from work? Maybe it's the aspirin you got over the counter to tackle that niggling headache? The fact is, unless you live out in a rural tribe, CPGs infiltrate almost every aspect of our lives – and that's why the industry offers so many incredible business opportunities.

As one of the world's largest and most diverse industries, CPG covers everything from food and beverage to household and health products. With a long history, dating back to the late 19th century, CPG has undergone tremendous changes and transformations due to new technology, changing consumer demands, and global market conditions. Currently, the global CPG market is valued at over 2 trillion USD, and it's expected to keep growing.

As an industry characterized by high competition levels and rapid consumer behavior changes, what are the future trends, opportunities, and digital solutions in CPG? This handbook focuses primarily on CPG manufacturing, but all the challenges and solutions remain relevant for CPG as a whole. Read on to find out and discover how your business can ensure its future success.





Currently, the global CPG market is valued at over 2 trillion USD, and it's expected to keep growing.

Challenges facing the CPG manufacturing industry

Like almost every industry, CPG manufacturing faces multiple challenges amidst rapid changes in consumer preferences and behaviors. Firstly, there is an increased spotlight on sustainability and the growing demand for organic and natural products. Next, you've got e-commerce technology and D2C sales making it easier for new entrants to disrupt the market.

Throw in the global pandemic, which hugely impacted consumer buying habits, and there's now increasing demand for at-home consumption and health and wellness products. Macroeconomic and global market turmoil, including supply chain issues, rising energy and commodity prices, and inflation, further compound the challenges facing CPG.

When it comes to digitization, one of the significant difficulties is aligning the entire organization with a shared digital vision. This can be due to several factors, such as a need for more agreement among different departments, integrating the vision alongside existing enterprise-level strategies, and ensuring that business leaders both understand the possibilities of digital change and are willing to invest in it. To address these challenges, CPG companies must continually innovate and differentiate themselves through a flexible approach, or risk drowning in an ever-crowded market.

Technology and digitization can help to solve some of these challenges, but they also highlight three major hurdles facing CPG B2B manufacturers: D2C challenges and reaching end consumers, over-reliance on traditional channels, and the complexity of organizations. 

1. Establishing a successful D2C strategy & winning the digital shelf

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed e-commerce penetration higher overall, but some categories are growing much faster than others for CPG. End consumers want low prices, especially with the cost of living increasing and inflation worries, lowering the overall demand for non-essential goods. This means that pricing elasticity and ‘winning the digital shelf’ are more important than ever. What does that mean exactly?

Winning the digital shelf is all about ensuring that your products are visible in the online retail space. With so much competition, brands must ensure that their products effectively engage and capture consumers’ interest. This involves everything from high-quality imagery, to accurate product descriptions, and positive customer reviews, among other aspects. For CPG manufacturers, this is two-fold.

They must ‘win the shelf’ with their retailers and distributors, but also with the end-consumer, especially as more and more manufacturers look to establish a viable direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel. Manufacturers must evaluate the profitability and scalability of selling directly to consumers and determine if it complements their existing routes-to-market or if they should pursue a D2C-exclusive strategy.

However, despite its importance, many CPG manufacturers are still struggling with establishing or leveraging an existing D2C channel, and because of that, they have little or poor direct engagement with the end consumers. One reason for this is the lack of capabilities and infrastructure to cater to smaller customers.

Traditional CPG manufacturers are accustomed to dealing with larger retailers and distributors, and their systems may not be well-suited for direct engagement with individual consumers or small businesses. This requires a shift in operational processes and the adoption of new technologies to handle the unique demands of D2C sales.

Another challenge is the unclear value proposition for customers to buy directly from CPG manufacturers. Consumers are accustomed to purchasing CPG products through established retail channels, and it may be difficult for manufacturers to convince them of the benefits of buying directly. Manufacturers need to clearly articulate the value they can provide, such as lower prices, personalized experiences, or access to exclusive products, to motivate customers to bypass traditional retailers and purchase directly.

2. Dependence on traditional channels

CPG manufacturers face a heavy dependence on traditional channels, primarily selling to large resellers and distributors, while struggling to effectively reach smaller retailers and professionals. These major retailers and distributors serve as the main clients, but the thin margins, restricted growth, and intense competition in this model limit opportunities. Moreover, they act as gatekeepers between manufacturers and end consumers, hindering direct access.

The distribution model for most CPG categories still follows the producer-distributor-consumer paradigm, which no longer aligns with the evolving landscape. Digital disruption holds significant potential across the industry, offering opportunities to redefine distribution channels. CPG manufacturers face a range of challenges associated with being too dependent on traditional channels.

These include:

  • Consolidated and uncontrolled distribution channels
  • A disconnect from customers
  • Fragmented brands and geographies
  • Reliance on cumbersome legacy systems and processes
  • A market driven by volume

While these issues do pose challenges, they can also be viewed as areas of business opportunity. Manufacturers must evaluate their order-taking methods to address these issues, considering whether they rely on in-person interactions, fax, phone, or email. Embracing customer self-service capabilities can enhance this ordering process.

Assessing the prevalence of manual errors is crucial for improving operational efficiency. Leveraging digital capabilities to gather business intelligence and optimize personalized promotions can yield substantial benefits. Furthermore, tapping into the untapped market of wholesalers, serving smaller customers and professionals at scale, and addressing the complexity of a hyper-fragmented market are essential steps toward success in the evolving CPG landscape.

To thrive, businesses must streamline their value chain and diversify sales channels (removing the over-reliance on traditional ones). More than anything, CPG manufacturers should aim to be present on all relevant shelves.


3. Complex organizations

What is often one of the biggest challenges facing CPG manufacturers is the sheer complexity of the organizations. That means that when it comes to making changes or implementing new strategies, an agile company culture is vital – and quite often not the case. Coordinating and efficiently launching digital transformation projects in an organization with complex hierarchies is simply challenging.

Many manufacturers are facing the need to shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset. Events like the covid-19 pandemic proved that successful organizations are those who can adapt quickly – and not only to long-term planned projects of improvement, but to the small and frequent market changes and challenges.

Therefore, the solution to this challenge is implementing a ‘build-test-learn’ approach and embracing an agile, data-driven culture. CPG manufacturers must not become complacent but continue to innovate, ensuring they have new and improved shelves to avoid being pushed out of the market.

Checking customer interest in new products becomes a crucial speed factor. Leveraging the workforce as trusted early adopters to build up e-commerce capabilities and enabling customer advocates to be true influencers can also drive success. Additionally, it is important to assess the current technology stack's ability to experiment with emerging technologies. This will help determine how to scale technology and human resources to serve multiple brands and geographies.

The opportunity lies in embracing innovation to have new and improved shelves, adopting the test-and-learn approach, and leveraging emerging technologies to stay ahead in the competitive CPG landscape.

In the digital age, it’s not the big fish eating the small one, but the fast fish eating the slow one.

Challenges conclusion

There are many challenges facing manufacturing that are out of individual businesses’ control, such as the macroeconomic environment or global supply chain issues. What CPG organizations can do, however, is to overcome the technology hurdles standing in their way of success. Digital transformation doesn’t have to be a painful process, but it does require a mindset shift. If you want your business to win the digital shelf, it’s time to embrace new ways of thinking.

4 key trends in CPG manufacturing

Several significant shifts in consumer behavior are impacting the future of CPG manufacturing. Sustainability and a bigger focus on health and wellness are primarily driven by consumer sentiment, as well as public policy. Digitization and automation trends, including the use of AI, are galvanized by consumers demanding better buying experiences. Then, as more and more competitors try to earn market share, CPG manufacturers must consider personalization and loyalty to dominate the digital shelf. Let's delve further into each of these trends.

Artificial intelligence

Manufacturers have long needed to retire their pens and paper and embrace a data-driven, digital approach to business. Artificial intelligence is one of the key drivers helping businesses to achieve that – and gives CPG manufacturers that all-important competitive edge to streamline their operations and improve their products.

AI also helps reduce waste and, in turn, the environmental impact – a crucial step for manufacturers going forward. The flip side is that for AI initiatives to succeed, companies require high-quality data and skilled data analysts, which can be challenging to procure.

There are myriad ways that AI is being used in CPG manufacturing, including:

  • Quality control:
    Identifying defects during production, helping to reduce waste.
  • Supply chain optimization:
    Predicting demand, managing inventory, and identifying efficient distribution routes.
  • Product development:
    Analyzing consumer data and market trends to help develop new products more closely tailored to consumer needs.
  • Predictive maintenance:
    Monitoring equipment and machinery to predict when maintenance is needed.
  • Energy management:
    Reducing energy consumption and costs through recommendations based on analysis of energy usage patterns.
  • Personalization:
    Leveraging customer data to develop personalized product recommendations and marketing strategies.

The global AI market in manufacturing is expected to reach 16.3 billion USD in revenue by 2027, which illustrates what a huge impact artificial intelligence is poised to have on CPG.





Industry Examples


Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company known for its diverse range of well-known brands. With a focus on sustainable living, Unilever strives to make a positive impact by delivering products that enhance people's lives worldwide while minimizing their environmental footprint. As part of this, Unilever has already been leveraging AI technology through its comprehensive omnichannel strategy for several years.

Using artificial intelligence, Unilever enhances raw material sourcing and employs robots on a single manufacturing line for diverse product handling. They also optimize processes with a digital twin system, integrating AI into marketing via trials with facial recognition technology and employing computer vision for emotion analysis. The most famous example is their TasteFace campaign with the brand Marmite, where they used facial recognition to analyze consumer’s reactions to tasting the controversial ‘love it or hate it’ product.

Unilever's latest AI initiatives include collaborating with Arm, PragmatIC, and the University of Manchester to develop AI-based sensor chips. These prototypes aim to detect food freshness by measuring gas associated with stale odors in fruits, vegetables, and packaged food, emphasizing quality and freshness assurance.


Coca-Cola is a renowned global beverage company known for its iconic and diverse portfolio of refreshing drinks. With a rich heritage and commitment to sustainability, Coca-Cola aims to provide consumers with enjoyable moments while making positive contributions to communities and the environment. Coca-Cola is also a market leader for AI adoption in the CPG space.

Using artificial intelligence largely for product innovation and market research, Coca-Cola employs several AI tactics using vending machines where consumers can mix their own flavors (which lead to the new Cherry Sprite flavor), as well as ‘intelligent’ vending machines in Japan, and gamification of vending machines where consumers can collect points. They’ve also introduced pre-ordering at vending machines in some markets.

On top of this, Coca-Cola leverages computer vision to track pictures of their drinks on social media, and then create targeted ads based on this data. With more than 500 brands in 200 countries, Coca-Cola has access to a giant store of consumer data, which plays a key role in its AI strategy.


A recent joint study from McKinsey and NielsenIQ examined sales growth for products that claim to be environmentally and socially responsible, and found that not only do consumers care about sustainability – they're willing to back it up with their wallets. This shift in consumer sentiment has a monumental impact on the CPG manufacturing industry, as both material sourcing and supply chain practices are under more intense scrutiny.

CPG manufacturers are now more focused on procuring raw materials from sustainable and eco-friendly sources, ensuring responsible and ethical production processes. This includes promoting fair trade, reducing carbon footprint, and minimizing water usage throughout the supply chain. Additionally, companies are adopting packaging materials that are recyclable, biodegradable, or made from renewable resources, aiming to reduce plastic waste and environmental impact.

Blockchain technology is a hot topic for sustainability in CPG manufacturing, as it can ensure the traceability of raw materials and verify its origin and sustainability credentials. Blockchain will no doubt play a part in accountability, encouraging manufacturers to make more efforts toward sustainable choices.

Many companies are now investing in energy-efficient technologies, such as advanced machinery and equipment that consume less energy or utilize renewable energy sources. This not only reduces operational costs but also decreases greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this, manufacturers are implementing waste reduction and recycling initiatives within their facilities, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing waste generation.

Consumer demand for sustainable products has pushed CPG manufacturers to develop and market environmentally-friendly alternatives. Companies are introducing product lines that prioritize sustainability, whether it's offering organic, natural, or eco-friendly options. One example of this shift is in the plant-based foods market, which has been growing exponentially for the last few years.

By catering to the growing demand for sustainable goods, CPG manufacturers are meeting consumer expectations and contributing to a more eco-conscious society at the same time, meaning that CPGs play a pivotal role in driving innovation and fostering a more sustainable future.


At €43 million in sales in 2022, plant-based seafood is still a small category but growing rapidly, with more than 326% growth since 2020.
– Good Food Institute

Industry Examples


Nestlé, a multinational food and beverage company, is actively prioritizing sustainability by focusing on waste reduction and tackling plastic pollution. With a commitment to achieving a waste-free future, Nestle has implemented various actions to address the plastic waste challenge. They are working toward making 100% of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and are actively exploring innovative packaging solutions to reduce their environmental footprint.

Nestle is promoting a circular economy by collaborating with stakeholders to improve waste management and recycling infrastructure. They support recycling initiatives and invest in research and development to enhance the recyclability of their packaging materials. Additionally, Nestle is actively engaging consumers by providing clear instructions on how to properly dispose of their packaging, encouraging recycling habits among their customers.

The company is also reducing the use of single-use plastics across its operations with lightweight packaging designs, exploring alternative materials, and promoting refillable and reusable options. They participate in clean-up initiatives to remove plastic waste from the environment and have launched pilot projects to test new waste collection and recycling approaches.

Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble (P&G), a multinational consumer goods company, strongly emphasizes sustainability with dedicated efforts toward environmental responsibility. They have set ambitious goals to reduce their environmental footprint and have implemented various initiatives to achieve them by conserving resources, minimizing waste, and promoting sustainable practices throughout their operations.

One key area of P&G's sustainability efforts is its commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainable packaging. They strive to source materials responsibly, ensuring they come from sustainable and traceable sources. P&G also aims to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030, promoting the circular economy and minimizing waste sent to landfills. The company uses eco-design, exploring innovative packaging solutions that reduce material usage while maintaining product quality.

P&G is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy across its manufacturing and distribution processes. They have set targets to achieve a 30% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. P&G invests in renewable energy projects, collaborates with suppliers to improve energy efficiency, and employs advanced technologies to optimize their operations and minimize energy consumption.

The business is also dedicated to water conservation and has implemented various water-saving initiatives. They have set targets to reduce water usage in manufacturing facilities and have made significant progress in water stewardship. P&G also supports community water programs to promote clean water and sanitation access in regions facing water scarcity.


Traditionally, B2B companies, such as CPG manufacturers, have primarily targeted other businesses as their customers. However, there is a growing recognition that understanding and addressing the needs and preferences of the end consumer is crucial for B2B success. McKinsey reported that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities than other businesses do.

By investing in consumer-centric strategies, manufacturers can drive growth and differentiate themselves in the market – because delivering value and experiences that resonate with the end consumer ultimately translates into business success. This means that when it comes to personalization for CPG manufacturers, there are two consumer groups to consider: the traditional business customer, such as retailers and distributors, and the person actually using the product, the end-consumer. This is done through leveraging data and analytics to gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences and then using this data to personalize the customer experience. There are three key aspects of B2B personalization for CPG manufacturers:

Customized Product Assortment:
CPG manufacturers can personalize their offerings by working closely with B2B customers to curate product assortments that align with their specific requirements. This can involve collaborating on product formulations, packaging sizes, or product variations to cater to the preferences of each business customer. Manufacturers can strengthen their B2B relationships and enhance customer satisfaction by offering a tailored range of products.

Value-Added Services:
Personalization in B2B goes beyond just the products themselves. CPG manufacturers can differentiate themselves by providing value-added services, including offering customized marketing support, co-branded promotional campaigns, or specialized training programs. By understanding the unique challenges and goals of their B2B partners, manufacturers can offer personalized services that drive mutual success.

Data-Driven Insights:
Leverage data analytics and technology to provide B2B customers with actionable insights and personalized recommendations. This includes optimizing inventory management, pricing strategies, and product positioning by analyzing sales data, market trends, and consumer behavior. This data-driven approach allows manufacturers to become trusted partners, offering valuable guidance and personalized recommendations to their B2B customers. Analyzing data also allows CPG manufacturers to better understand the end consumers' needs, motivations, and buying patterns, ultimately allowing them to tailor their strategies and offering to more effectively engage with the end consumer.

77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.
– Forrester

Industry Example


Veri is a metabolic app that helps consumers to monitor their glucose and to understand how eating certain foods impacts their glucose response. The app makes personalized suggestions for each user based on their unique data. The Finland-based company sees itself as a food intelligence company, as its sensor and the accompanying app can help people understand their optimal diet to improve the state of their metabolic health.

The food data is captured in-app through visuals and text. You enter what you ate, and then it correlates the effect on your glucose levels and provides a score of 1 to 10. It can also integrate sleep and exercise data for a more holistic view of health.

Loyalty & Subscriptions

As customer experience becomes a major factor in increasing retention and customer lifetime value, B2B businesses are increasingly considering loyalty programs and subscriptions to offer their customers exclusive value and to gain a competitive advantage. For CPG manufacturers, this could look like the following:

  • Strengthening B2B relationships:
    Loyalty programs tailored for B2B customers can play a vital role in building and strengthening relationships with distributors, retailers, and other B2B partners. CPG manufacturers can incentivize loyalty and encourage ongoing business partnerships by offering exclusive benefits, rewards, and incentives. Loyalty programs provide a framework for fostering long-term collaboration, creating a win-win situation for both the manufacturer and the B2B customer.
  • Driving repeat purchases and predictability:
    Subscription models are gaining traction in the B2B realm, enabling CPG manufacturers to establish recurring revenue streams and enhance predictability in their business operations. Manufacturers can secure regular orders and establish a dependable customer base by offering subscription-based services or products. This approach provides B2B customers with convenience, cost savings, and access to a continuous supply of goods, while manufacturers benefit from improved revenue visibility and customer retention.
  • Data insights and personalization:
    Loyalty programs and subscriptions allow CPG manufacturers to gather valuable data on B2B customers' preferences, buying behaviors, and consumption patterns. By analyzing this data, manufacturers can gain insights into customer needs, identify cross-selling or upselling opportunities, and personalize their offerings accordingly. Personalization, as discussed in the previous trend, strengthens customer loyalty, and supports targeted marketing and sales strategies.
  • Collaborative planning and inventory management:
    B2B loyalty programs can facilitate collaborative planning and inventory management between CPG manufacturers and their B2B partners. By having visibility into customers' purchasing patterns and preferences, manufacturers can optimize production, streamline supply chains, and improve inventory forecasting. This collaborative approach enables manufacturers to align their production and distribution processes more closely with B2B customers' demands, reducing costs, and ensuring smoother operations.



Industry Examples


Lenovo is a leading technology company offering a wide range of devices, solutions, and services to meet the diverse needs of individuals and businesses worldwide. Lenovo runs a loyalty program for it’s business partner sellers called LEAP (Lenovo Expert Achievers Program), designed to provide exclusive benefits and rewards to its members, creating a personalized and enhanced experience for its B2B customers.

LEAP offers ‘learn and earn' opportunities and includes other incentives where sellers of Lenovo products can collect points through additional training or selling. These points can then be turned into cash or gift cards as an extra incentive. The idea is to ensure that all Lenovo sellers have the information and education they need for successful sales of the products, resulting in a win-win for Lenovo and its business partner sellers.


Nespresso's B2B offering provides comprehensive business coffee solutions tailored specifically for the needs of commercial establishments. A range of high-quality coffee machines and an extensive selection of premium coffee capsules have been designed to meet the demands of various industries, including offices, hotels, restaurants, and cafes, suitable for both customers and employees.

Nespresso provides a wide range of coffee capsules, featuring an assortment of flavors and intensities to cater to different tastes. Businesses can sign up for a subscription program with auto-delivery of capsules with fast and free delivery, and the option to pause or cancel the subscription anytime. Through this, Nespresso has the opportunity to personalize up-selling offers and increase the overall lifetime value of its customers.

Key trends conclusion

Many of the key trends in CPG manufacturing revolve around new technologies and changing consumer and market demands. If CPG manufacturers want to win the digital shelf and keep a competitive edge, they must embrace digital transformation to leverage and successfully implement artificial intelligence, sustainable efforts, personalization, and loyalty schemes.

Opportunities and digital commerce solutions for CPG manufacturers

"In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity". While Sun Tzu faced infinitely different challenges over 2,000 years ago, his advice still rings true today. CPG businesses must view the industry's myriad challenges as opportunities if they hope to succeed. Here, we'd like to focus on three key areas you should invest in and three possible digital commerce strategies to adopt.

Three CPG opportunities to invest in

1. Put customer experiences at the forefront

Whereas historically, CPGs have grown purely by building their channel and forming relationships with distributors and retailers, they are now more focused on delivering superior brand experiences across the entire value chain. According to Deloitte, this illustrates digitization's shifts in the industry and how embracing changing consumer demands is a top priority for most CPGs – 93%.

This customer experience led-shift encompasses changes and opportunities ranging from investing in AI-enabled personalization and predictive analytics to investments in direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels and new product and service creation.

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants have been around for a while, helping to provide quick and accurate responses to customers, or even sending reminders or updates about orders. The speed of response is a vital component of customer experience, as Forrester reported – consumers are 2.4 times more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved quickly.

The next generation of AI in CPG analyzes customer data to predict behavior and preferences, offering personalized product recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and customized pricing and promotions. All of this contributes to a hyper-personalized experience for the customer, resulting in a better user experience and contributing towards brand loyalty.

2. Cost optimization and efficiency

Cost optimization and efficiency are vital to increasing profitability and competitiveness in the CPG market for CPGs. This can be achieved through various means, including SKU rationalization and value engineering. The former assesses and reduces the number of different products and variations, while the latter removes unnecessary features or attributes that don't add value to the customer. Both methods reduce production and inventory costs while optimizing the supply chain and reducing waste. McKinsey reported that a 25% reduction in SKUs resulted in a 2-4% improvement in gross margins by minimizing complexity.

Offering products in different sizes, known as price-pack architecture, can also help CPGs to optimize costs by allowing customers to choose the size that best fits their needs and budget. This strategy improves customer satisfaction while allowing businesses to adjust their pricing and increase sales.

Renegotiating supplier prices and payment terms is another crucial way for CPGs to optimize costs. Companies can reduce their production costs and improve their margins by negotiating better deals with suppliers.

Cutting labor costs and increasing productivity is also essential for CPGs looking to optimize their costs. This can be achieved through automation and technology. Adopting intelligent automation such as AI and machine vision can help reduce material loss, improve production efficiency, and increase quality control accuracy. This allows companies to reduce labor costs while improving production capacity and product quality.

3. Data-driven supply chains

One of the most significant opportunities for CPGs is leveraging data in their supply chains. This all starts with transparency and sharing information – Deloitte reported that 90% of CPG companies are investing in increasing the level of transparency provided to consumers and other stakeholders, compared to 46% of all other companies. This is driven, in large part, by growing demand from consumers to have more information about the products they buy, including product origin and how items are produced. Providing this level of transparency helps CPGs build trust with customers and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Another way to increase transparency is for CPGs to collect more detailed data from their supply chains. This includes everything from tracking products from raw materials to finished goods, to collecting data on product safety, quality, and sustainability. Not only does this help businesses identify opportunities for supply chain optimization, but it can also help CPGs meet regulatory requirements and comply with industry standards.

Data sharing shouldn't stop with consumers and regulators, however. By sharing information with partners on operations and logistics, such as inventory levels, demand forecasts, and shipping schedules, CPGs can optimize product delivery and ultimately lower costs. In addition, data sharing with partners in this way can help to reduce overall waste and improve sustainability by optimizing shipping routes.

Ultimately, driving data-led supply chains ensures that CPGs demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, which is increasingly essential for today's consumer. For Gen Z, brand name was rated as 49% important, while sustainability was 75% when purchasing, illustrating how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies must factor into CPGs' future planning.

Sustainability was rated as important by 75% of Gen Z when purchasing.

Four B2B CPG digital commerce solutions to adopt

1. eB2B

eB2B refers to the digitization of business-to-business transactions, where manufacturers and suppliers use electronic channels to exchange goods and services. eB2B is projected to reach $90-100 billion GMV by 2030, so it's a vast area of opportunity for CPGs.

This trend is driven by the fact that B2B buyers are looking for the same transparent, convenient, and speedy experience as in B2C transactions. 87% of CPG B2B buyers believe that B2B commerce solutions that mimic the B2C experience are the answer to meeting their needs, according to Accenture.

Currently, many CPG companies rely on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to order and purchase for their major customers, such as Walmart and Carrefour. Despite being an outdated and inflexible technology, it remains in use due to the intricate processes involved in ensuring its proper functionality with these prominent clients. A more streamlined and modern system, such as Spryker, would offer a superior alternative to the complex eB2B interfaces typically found in B2B webstores. 

Waiting for a salesperson, calling a hotline, or sending a fax is not only far from ideal by today's standards but also wastes company resources. To meet these expectations, businesses can leverage digital commerce technology with functionalities such as quote requests, personalized catalogs and pricing, agent assistance, dynamic order process engine, unlimited order sizes, and more.

An eB2B solution addresses several challenges faced by CPGs, such as unscalable sales operations, manual errors, a subpar customer buying process, and a need for more convenience. By digitizing the sales organization, businesses can use their resources best while providing a seamless customer experience.

With the ability to gather data insights, businesses can better understand customer behavior and preferences, enabling them to optimize their sales strategies. Moreover, providing a better buying experience can increase customer satisfaction, leading to higher customer loyalty and revenue.

2. B2B Marketplace

CPGs face a potentially limited product portfolio, fragmented distribution channels, and stagnating growth, all of which can prevent them from overtaking the market. However, instead of trying to overtake the market, they can instead become the marketplace in their industry by launching a B2B marketplace, allowing them to extend their product portfolio by opening to online sellers.

This streamlines their assortment, making it easier to buy and sell in a cluttered and hyper-fragmented market. By becoming the key enabler for "the one-stop shop" of a given vertical or customer group, CPGs can enhance their offering with services and retail media to sell not only their products but also other players in the market. This leads to an improved overall experience for both sellers and buyers while getting more insights into the whole industry (and enjoying a decent cut).

One of the major benefits of establishing a marketplace is the direct access to customers and the data that comes with it. Whereas previously, manufacturers had no customer insights related to purchasing behavior or buying trends, running a marketplace means that all of this information comes directly to the manufacturer – and can be leveraged to improve products and identify revenue opportunities, such as bundles, or cross and up-selling offers. 

A B2B marketplace helps CPGs by increasing their catalog, improving efficiency on both the buying and selling sides, and increasing revenue. With an extended product portfolio, they can offer more to their customers, leading to an increase in revenue and an improved overall customer experience – which ultimately helps CPGs to stay competitive.

3. Multi-brand platform

Selling multiple brands across different markets can be daunting as each market has its unique set of challenges, and each brand has its distinct identity and target customer. To succeed in a multi-brand or multinational scenario, CPGs can launch a common platform that allows for core competencies across the entire group, while being flexible enough to accommodate local or brand-specific customizations.

The platform should enable regional differences and provide the ability to differentiate between brands. GTM capability to localize is crucial in such scenarios, so CPGs should aim to have a modular architecture that is highly flexible, allowing the different brands to coexist while maintaining their identities.

Launching a single platform for all brands allows for a fast time-to-market while providing the necessary flexibility to accommodate regional differences. The extended aisle of products can be managed by sister brands under the same platform, without taking on added inventory risk. Onboarding brands is easy and fast, and new products can be tested on a small segment within the single platform.

This solution also creates a complimentary revenue stream from existing resources, allowing brands to better align and communicate customer insights. Because of this, it also improves customer convenience and experience by offering a more comprehensive range of products – increasing customer trust in the parent company, and leading to a higher overall customer lifetime value.

4. Attach-play

‘Attach-play’ is an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on their existing digital assets and make them transactional. This means taking advantage of websites with high traffic, popular apps, or solutions with a large user base and adding transactional capabilities on top. The goal is to monetize the engaged and qualified audience or user base by introducing new transactional features. This could include showing availability and price, adding a superimposed cart and checkout layer, and incorporating valuable e-commerce functionalities like customer accounts and a consistent cart experience across multiple brands.

By pursuing the attach-play opportunity, CPG manufacturers can address several challenges they face, including dealing with a complex technology stack that may hinder the implementation of transactional capabilities. The 'attach-play' approach provides a solution that doesn't require rebuilding or migrating existing systems. Instead, platforms like Spryker can be leveraged to overlay the necessary e-commerce features onto the existing digital assets, enabling a faster time-to-market and reducing the implementation cost.

Moreover, the attach-play strategy helps businesses avoid missed opportunities by capitalizing on their already engaged and qualified user base. Instead of starting from scratch or seeking new customers, companies can leverage their existing digital assets to generate revenue through transactions. This approach allows for a more efficient use of resources and offers a way to monetize the audience or user base that has already shown interest in the business's offerings.

How Spryker can help

Spryker is here to help you future-proof your business. Our sophisticated transactional commerce technology can enable every digital commerce solution outlined in this CPG handbook, from eB2B to multi-brand platforms. Our industry experts are here to guide you through the challenges facing CPG to ensure you stay agile in this rapidly evolving market.

You can learn more about CPG manufacturing solutions by exploring our use cases, such as how to enhance your offering with complementary products, and solving channel conflict while going D2C.

CPG Commerce Cheat Sheet


Competition is incredibly fierce in CPG, and only growing daily as technology enables new entrants to disrupt the market for incumbents. In order to not only survive, but thrive, CPGs must embrace a digital-first and composable approach to stay agile and evolve with rapidly changing consumer demands. Discover more about how Spryker can solve CPG-specific challenges and opportunities, such as a multi-brand platform, here.

Unlock The Future of CPG Commerce: Join our 30-Min Executive Insight Session

Step into the future of digital commerce and boost your CPG business with our 30-minute Executive Insight Session:

  1. Innovative Strategies (15 min): Learn 3 innovative digital commerce use cases transforming the CPG industry.
  2. Advanced Solutions (10 min): See firsthand how our cutting-edge technology can improve your operations and customer satisfaction.
  3. Tailored Insights & Preparation (5 min): Prepare a potential deepdive to your unique challenges

About Spryker

Spryker is the leading composable commerce platform for enterprises with sophisticated business models to enable growth, innovation, and differentiation. Designed specifically for sophisticated transactional business, Spryker’s easy-to-use, headless, API-first model offers a best-of-breed approach that provides businesses the flexibility to adapt, scale, and quickly go to market while facilitating faster time-to-value throughout their digital transformation journey. As a global platform leader for B2B and B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce, and Unified Commerce, Spryker has empowered 150+ global enterprise customers worldwide and is trusted by brands such as ALDI, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was recognized by Gartner® as a Visionary in the 2023 Magic Quadrant™ for Digital Commerce and was also ranked as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. Spryker is a privately held technology company headquartered in Berlin and New York. Find out more at

Spryker Website